Russia says it respects outcome of east Ukraine self-rule vote

MOSCOW Mon May 12, 2014 4:55am EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it respected the outcome of a referendum on self-rule in two east Ukrainian regions and that the results should be implemented peacefully.

Pro-Russian rebels declared a landslide victory in Sunday's referendum held in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Ukrainian authorities dismissed the vote as a farce and the European Union criticized the referendum.

"In Moscow, we respect the will of the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and are counting on practical implementation of the outcome of the referendum in a civilized manner, without any repeat of violence and through dialogue," the Kremlin said in a statement.

President Vladimir Putin, who distanced himself from the vote last week by calling on separatists to delay it, has not commented on the referendum which was held as fighting flared in the region bringing Ukraine closer towards possible civil war.

The Kremlin emphasized what it said was a "high turnout by the population, despite attempts to disrupt the vote".

"We condemn the use of force, including of heavy weapons against civilians," it also said in the statement.

Some pro-Russian voters saw Sunday's vote as a move toward eventual union with Russia. Moscow denies any ambition to absorb Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking east, an industrial hub, into the Russian Federation following its annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea after a referendum in March.

The Kremlin statement did not give details of any plans to act on the results of the referendum.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska and Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Elizabeth Piper)

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Comments (2)
TruWorldPeace wrote:
Yes indeed. Russia is absolutely right. This is the fundamental principle of self determination at work. What else can you do if the only alternative is to be under a fascist government??

May 12, 2014 6:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WiktorProts wrote:
In its unannounced war against Ukraine, Russia relies on covert operations which fall squarely within the definition of “international terrorism” under 18 U.S.C. § 2331.
Specifically, armed operatives of Russia, acting under disguise, attempt to influence the policy of Ukrainian government by intimidation or coercion. They also try to affect the conduct of a government by assassinations and kidnapping, taking by force government buildings, police posts and military bases of Ukraine.
This activity is being conducted on large scale and over prolonged time period, despite condemnation by the USA, G-7, NATO, EU and UN.
Please sign the petition urging the White House to officially designate Russia as “State sponsor of terrorism” –
Such status of country would outlaw business of American companies with Russia. Even considering of the petition by Senate and President of USA creating great inconvenience Russian authorities.

May 12, 2014 7:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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