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Kiev hopes for dialogue with Russia after May 25 presidential elections — Ukrainian FM

May 23, 2014, 19:10 UTC+3 KIEV
“We will laud Russia’s concrete actions on recognising the Ukrainian government and improving a dialogue with the legitimate government and president,” he says
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© EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

KIEV, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev hopes for a dialogue with Russia after presidential elections scheduled for May 25, Ukrainian parliament-appointed Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia has said.

Commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech at St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Deshchytsa said, “We will laud Russia’s concrete actions on recognising the Ukrainian government and improving a dialogue with the legitimate government and president.”

“We hope that Russia’s statements will be proved by real steps,” he said after meetings with the Danish, Estonian and Norwegian foreign ministers on Friday.

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said Europe would welcome the real change of the situation.

President Putin said Russia would respect the will of the Ukrainian people during the May 25 presidential election but will keep watching closely what’s going on in Ukraine.

It would have been easier for Ukraine’s opposition to reach an agreement with President Viktor Yanukovych, who “was ready to agree to everything”, at the very start of the conflict so that the legitimacy of the forthcoming elections was not being called into question, he said.

“Honestly, Ukraine has no right to elect a new president because it still has the incumbent president who was illegally ousted from power,” Putin went on to say.

He explained that Ukraine’s Constitution mentioned only four reasons for removing the incumbent president from power: death, illness, impeachment and personal resignation request.

“None of those things actually happened in Ukraine,” Putin said.

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