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Russia's State Duma respects choice of Ukrainian voters - senior lawmaker

October 27, 2014, 5:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“We respect the choice of those who took part in the voting,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs said
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© TASS/EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, respects the choice of people who took part in the vote at Sunday’s elections to Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday.

“We respect the choice of those who took part in the voting,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots, said.

At the same time, Slutsky said, Moscow “realizes that the elections were not free and democratic because the east and southeast of Ukraine did not take part in the vote or took part by an extremely small percent of the voter list.”

“Over a million voters are beyond the country’s borders, hostilities in Donbass [Donetsk and Lugansk regions] continue, media freedom is lacking. On each of these parameters, the elections cannot be recognized as democratic,” he said.

At the same time, he said, Russia “does not rule out possible cooperation with those deputies of the Verkhovna Rada who will be set for constructive interaction with Russia in the bilateral format or at international parliamentary sites,” Slutsky said.

CIS stands for the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose association of former Soviet republics.

According to data of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission (CEC) as of 04:00 Moscow Time, with 7.45% of the ballots counted, the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc led by the president gained 22.09% and People’s Front led by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has 21.66%

More than 34.6 million people in Ukraine have the right to vote. Some 30,000 polling stations were open for voters in the country, and another 112 were open for Ukrainian nationals in 72 other countries.

Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, has killed thousands of people, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

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