KIEV, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Friday welcomed Russia's readiness to work with the new Ukrainian leadership after an upcoming presidential election.
"If it really happens, we will welcome not only Russia's announcement, but also its concrete steps toward the recognition of the Ukrainian leadership," Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia told reporters.
Deshchytsia voiced hope Russian authorities and the legitimate president and government in Kiev would forge bilateral cooperation after the presidential vote in Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would respect the outcome of the presidential election and expressed Moscow's readiness to work with the new leadership.
The election, scheduled for May 25, was called after former president Viktor Yanukovych was forced out of office in February and fled to Russia soon afterwards.
Moscow has denounced the events that led to Yanukovych's ouster as a coup and has refused to recognize the interim Ukrainian authorities, calling them illegitimate.
ST. PETERSBURG, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Ongoing events in Ukraine were a "full-scale civil war" incited by the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
"The state coup (in Kiev) supported by U.S. and European partners was followed by chaos and now by a full-scale civil war," RIA Novosti news agency quoted Putin as saying in a speech at the 18th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Full story