BEIRUT

World

After separatist votes, Russia urges talks on Ukraine's future

An armed pro-Russian activist stands guard outside the regional state administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on May 12, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF)

MOSCOW: Russia called on Ukraine's interim government on Monday to debate the country's future structure after separatists in two eastern regions claimed victory in referendums on self-rule.

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said "the Kiev authorities continue to display a criminal lack of readiness for dialogue with their own people" and urged the government to hold meetings with representatives of eastern and southern regions.

"The preliminary results of the ballot counts convincingly show a real desire on the part of citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for the right to independently make decisions about issues that are vitally important to them," it said.

It stopped short of advocating independence for the regions or their absorption into Russia, saying: "We believe that the results of the referendum should be brought to life within the framework of dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk."

Moscow has amassed troops near the Ukrainian border, prompting fears that it could seek to absorb eastern regions where Russian-speakers predominate after annexing the Crimean peninsula in March.

Russia denies it has such intentions, but some analysts suspect President Vladimir Putin wants to take advantage of separatist sentiment in order to keep Ukraine unstable and prevent the pro-Western interim government from gaining control.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here