Russia ready for dialogue with new Ukraine president-elect

Russia ready for dialogue with new Ukraine president-elect
Mon May 26, 2014 18:03:37

Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow is ready for dialogue with Petro Poroshenko, current leader of the presidential vote tally, but he should scale back his armed forces' campaign in Ukraine's southeast.

“We hear Petro Poroshenko describe relations with Russia as of the utmost importance. We, as [the Russian] president repeated many times, are ready for dialog with Kiev, ready for dialog with Petro Poroshenko," Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Monday.

The top Russian diplomat, however, warned Kiev that pursuing its military operations against pro-Moscow protesters in the country’s eastern regions was a “colossal mistake.”

Ukraine’s president-elect Poroshenko has said that he is planning to meet Russian leaders in the first half of June.

He has also promised to restore ties with Moscow in a bid to bring back stability to crisis-stricken Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the pro-Western billionaire has stated that he will keep the current Ukrainian interim government and the acting Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Poroshenko has pledged to put an end to the war and bring peace to the former Soviet state. The 48-year-old chocolate tycoon has also ruled out negotiations with pro-Russian activists, vowing to continue military operations in the country’s southeastern provinces.

Ukraine’s presidential election was held on May 25. With ballots from about 40 percent of precincts counted, Poroshenko has so far received 54.06 percent of the votes.

The election came after months of political crisis, which erupted last November when the former president, Viktor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an association agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia. The refusal triggered months of unrest, which finally led to the ouster of Yanukovych on February 23, who then left the country for Russia.


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