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Legitimacy of Ukrainian election raises questions — State Duma speaker

May 21, 2014, 16:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Sergei Naryshkin says the main question is whether the presidential elections in Ukraine can become a step towards deescalation of the crisis
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Speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin

Speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

MOSCOW, May 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin said the legitimacy of the Ukrainian presidential election amid the ongoing military operation in the southeast of the country raises many questions.

"The main question is whether the May 25 presidential election can become a step towards deescalation of the crisis," Naryshkin said at a roundtable discussion on Wednesday that addressed the legal situation in Ukraine in the run-up to presidential polls.

The speaker reminded that Russia had recommended the Ukrainian authorities to launch a broad civil dialogue with all political forces and regions with the view of making an agreement which had to be cemented constitutionally.

"Two roundtables with the Ukrainian public have been held, but representation was severely limited. The process strongly resembles an imitation of dialogue," Naryshkin said.

Since the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election can be questioned amid the standoff between the military and civilians in southeastern Ukraine, suppression of nonconformity, freedom of expression and dissemination of information, further doubts regarding the authenticity of voting might result in a new spiral of confrontation, he warned.

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