Russia Ready for Dialogue with Likely Ukraine President-Elect Poroshenko
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russia’s foreign minister said Moscow is ready for dialogue with Pyotr Poroshenko, current leader of the presidential vote tally, but would like to see him end the military operation in Ukraine's southeast. Poroshenko believes the operation must go on.
Sergey Lavrov shared Russia’s first reaction to reports of Poroshenko winning the election at a press conference in Moscow.
“We hear Pyotr Poroshenko describe relations with Russia as of the utmost importance,” Lavrov said. "We, as (the Russian) president repeated many times, are ready for dialogue with Kiev, ready for dialogue with Pyotr Poroshenko."
Lavrov believes Russia and Ukraine do not need any mediators to get relations between the countries back on a friendly footing.
“We are ready to cooperate with the EU and the US in what comes to implementation of the (OSCE’s) ‘roadmap’. But I doubt we need a mediator in our relations with Ukraine,” he said.
Moscow would like to see Poroshenko deliver on his election campaign promise to stop the military operation in southeastern Ukraine, RT reported.
“We cannot close our eyes on the fact the so-called anti-terrorist operation was not suspended (during the elections),” Lavrov said. “And only yesterday Deputy PM (Vitaly) Yarema said that now the voting had taken place, the authorities in Kiev would resume the active phase of the operation. That would be a huge mistake.”
Since April, Kiev has been engaged in a military crackdown on dissent in the volatile southeastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which had their independence from Kiev supported by a majority of voters in May 11 referendums.
The military stand-off between Ukrainian troops and self-defense forces have already led to dozens of casualties. An Italian reporter and his Russian interpreter were killed in a mortar attack on Saturday.
The self-proclaimed authorities in Donetsk earlier announced the region would boycott the presidential election altogether. However, according to the Ukrainian Central Elections Commission, 12 percent of the Donetsk Region’s population took part in the voting.
Billionaire Pyotr Poroshenko, who is currently leading in the Ukrainian presidential election, is supporting continuing the military operation in the southeast of the country.