Kiev must negotiate 'regional rights' before presidential vote: Russia

People attend celebrations of what pro-Russian activists claimed victory in an independence referendum in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk, on May 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF

MOSCOW: Russia accused the pro-Western interim leaders in Kiev on Tuesday of refusing to negotiate with pro-Russian separatists and said regional rights must be discussed before Ukraine holds May 25 presidential polls.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told the European Union's Moscow representative Vygaudas Usackas that Kiev's "refusal to engage in real dialogue... was a serious impediment to a de-escalation" of the crisis, adding that negotiations must be held "in the near future, and in any case before the May 25 elections," the foreign ministry said.





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