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For his part, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin believes that Ukraine’s newly adopted law on the presidential election is void. “Under the new rules the presidential election can be declared valid even if an overwhelming majority of Ukraine’s citizens refuse to participate.” In that context Naryshkin voiced regret over the fact that “a number of our Western partners prefer to ignore such juridical and legal details of the situation in Ukraine.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that before an election can be held Kiev must give up the military operation against its own people and find a common language with the people of the Southeast, who have been demanding a referendum on the status of their regions and the recognition of Russian as a second state language.
In the middle of April Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia might refuse to recognize the results of Ukraine’s election. He said that the presidential race in Ukraine was proceeding in an impermissible form and that that candidates from the East were unable to express their point of view and extremely exposed to physical attacks.
“If everything proceeds in the same fashion further on, then we, of course will be unable to recognize everything that will be happening after May 25 as legitimate,” he warned.
"Restoring order to Ukraine over the three weeks still to go before the presidential election is an unrealistic task. In the current situation of an armed standoff there is no chance of holding a full-fledged election campaign,” State Duma member from the United Russia party, Vyacheslav Nikonov, has told ITAR-TASS in an interview.
“It looks like people in the south-eastern regions of the country - the Donetsk and Lugansk regions - which have declared themselves as republics, will not participate in the May 25 election. There are millions of voters in both. They will refuse to recognize the new authorities,” Nikonov said.
“Kiev’s decision to cancel the Victory Day march-past on May 9 drew the red line. Very many Ukrainians will refuse to participate in the voting, because they will by no means agree to recognize this date as a day of mourning,” Nikonov said.
“Another problem is whoever is declared the winner in the election, that person will have no chance of being the president of the whole of Ukraine. That person would be unable to visit Eastern Ukraine without considerable risks. And the other way round. Whatever the outcome, the election will not bring peace and calm to Ukraine. It will just trigger a new spiral of discord and rivalry,” Nikonov said.
As if in a gesture of confirmation of what Nikonov said Ukrainian parliament member Oleg Tsarev, one of the presidential candidates, on Tuesday declared he was leaving the race. He also called for boycotting the elections.
“Instead of the presidential election Russia has all the way urged the Ukrainian authorities to hold a constitutional reform involving entire society, to agree on the principles of federalization and on the recognition of the Russian language. But first and foremost the authorities in Kiev should terminate armed pressures on the south-eastern regions of the country,” Nikonov said.
“If the Ukrainian authorities bow to instructions from the US to act from the position of strength against their own people who disagree with their policies and go ahead with the presidential election plans, the end effect will be deplorable. Even if the West, in contrast to Russia recognizes the results of the elections legitimate, this will pave the way for Ukraine’s collapse,” Nikonov said.
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