MOSCOW (Reuters) - A parliamentary election in Ukraine offers a chance for peace in the country’s east, a deputy Russian foreign minister said on Monday but warned that “nationalists” in the chamber could undermine the process, RIA news agency reported.
An initial vote count showed pro-European parties had secured a clear victory in the Ukrainian poll, the first to be held since street protests ousted the country’s pro-Russian leader, Viktor Yanukovich, earlier this year.
“Parties supporting a peaceful resolution of the internal Ukrainian crisis won a majority. This gives them a new chance to return to the agreements made, first and foremost, in Minsk,” Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said, referring to agreements made by Kiev, Moscow and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko hailed the election result as a show of popular support for his plan to end a pro-Russian rebellion in the east and pursue reforms.
Kiev and the West blame Moscow for destabilising Ukraine by supporting and arming the rebels as well as reinforcing them with Russian troops. Moscow denies taking part in the armed conflict.
“The fact that openly nationalistic and chauvinistic forces won considerable support and will be represented in the Rada (parliament) creates an additional threat that again calls will sound ... for the use of force, for bloodshed,” Karasin added.
“That is extremely dangerous.”
Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Elizabeth Piper