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People’s will in southeast Ukraine ‘should be taken into account’ — Russian official

May 12, 2014, 20:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Views of people living in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, expressed at last Sunday’s referendums should be taken into account in all negotiations that may follow, says Igor Borisov, a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights and the head of the Russian Public Institute of Electoral Law.

“The polls in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions made the citizens’ position clear, and this position should be taken into account at any talks with Kiev,” Borisov told ITAR-TASS. “People were not forced to participate, and queues at polling stations showed that the referendum made it possible for them to have their say.”

“We have not had any evidence yet that might discredit the outcomes of the voting,” he added.

“The population’s will is the main message. The people do not want to live under the domination of neo-Nazis. They do not want to be treated as second-rate citizens. This is an anti-fascist uprising,” said Sergey Makarov, a member of the Russian Civic Chamber and the head of the chamber’s Inter-commission Working Group on International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy.

“As many as 95% of participants in the referendum spoke in favor of independence from Kiev, at least from the current Kiev authorities, demonstrating a whopping 70-75% voter turnout in defiance of Kiev's attempts to prevent voters from participating in the plebiscite,” Makarov said.

“Ukraine’s unity is still possible. It will be possible in the event that a coalition government with the participation of representatives from Ukraine’s east takes over in Kiev,” he said, adding that people’s demands should be satisfied, including those for Russian's official status as a state language and people’s right to elect governors.

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