ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Russia will respect the results of Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday.
Russia will work with Ukraine's new authorities after the election, Putin told reporters at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Putin said that he is ready to hold talks with Ukraine's incoming government and that a new Cold War with the West over Ukraine is unlikely.
Putin also said that he is concerned about threats by "radicals" in Ukraine to interrupt Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.
Putin noted that sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine issue are counterproductive and do not accord with international law.
Isolating a country like Russia is not possible, said the Russian president, adding that sanctions will lead the Russian, European, global economy to turbulence that is in no one's interests.
He reiterated that a new Cold War over Ukraine crisis is unlikely.
He said Russia is ready for a constructive dialogue with Ukraine over the price of Russian gas, but asserted that the dialogue should not be carried out though baseless demands and ultimatums.
Ukraine's presidential election is set to take place on Sunday despite waves of violence and political instability in the country's eastern regions, where government forces have launched operations against insurgents to regain control.
A total of 21 candidates would compete for the country's top post, with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and businessman Petro Poroshenko emerging as front-runners.
The election was called after former President Viktor Yanukovych was forced out of office in February and fled to Russia soon afterwards.
PARIS, May 24 (Xinhua) -- French president Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had phone talks on Saturday with Russian president Vladimir Putin over the due presidential election in Ukraine.
On the eve of the run-off, the three leaders "... agreed that the vote should take place tomorrow with the best conditions to ensure stability in Ukraine." Full story
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. Full story
MOSCOW, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Some countries deliberately stoked tensions in Ukraine to advance their geopolitical goals, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the 3rd international security conference here.
"Regional instability may be advantageous for certain countries as a convenient pretext for extensive reconfiguration of the existent security architecture," Interfax news agency quoted Shoigu as saying. Full story