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MOSCOW, May 15 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has no information on whether Moscow has received an official request from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to become part of Russia, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.
“I have not heard that an official request has been received, although media have said much about it,” Lukashevich said.
He said the key task now is to “deflect the threat of a civil war in Ukraine”. “Russia spoke and keeps speaking for the launch of a broad nationwide dialogue between Ukrainians, with international assistance, on the ways of the future state structure of Ukraine,” the diplomat stressed. “At the same time, we will keep demanding that the legal interests of regions be taken into account,” he said.
The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. After the plebiscite, co-chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said the DPR asked Russia to adopt it as a constituent member.
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in the country in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence on March 11 and joined Russia on March 18 following a referendum.