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Churkin: elections in Ukraine amid lack of choice are fraught with country’s split

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations expressed regret Russia’s Western partners “are appealing to some general ideas that are very far from the Ukrainian realities”

UNITED NATIONS, March 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Amid the lack of a political leader capable of uniting the nation the May 25 election in Ukraine would “almost certainly” cause the country’s further split, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told Russian journalists on Friday.

“At present there are no prerequisites for the election to defuse the existing tensions. The more so, since, as you know, in Ukraine there is no political leader who would be capable of uniting the nation. Holding elections in a situation like this would be the surest way of splitting the country, which would be a rather sad development,” Churkin said after a meeting of the UN Security Council behind closed doors.

Churkin said holding elections would be particularly risky at a time when “Ukraine lacks a new constitution that would make all regions and political forces certain about their future.”

The Russian envoy said that he explained that situation to the UN Security Council members in very clear terms.

On Friday the Security Council heard a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his trips to Moscow and Kiev on March 20-22. Churkin said there was “a rather detailed discussion over the general situation involving Ukraine. “I believe that the discussion was not useless, but I would prefer not to say that our Western colleagues have changed their mind regarding the further line of action in relation to the Ukrainian issue,” Churkin said.

In his opinion, “some members of the UN Security Council have been trying to create an atmosphere of an international crisis around Ukraine and waiting for Moscow to take steps to ease the tensions.

“We drew their attention to the fact that there is no international crisis on the agenda. There is a crisis in Ukraine, and we have a very clear idea of how the Ukrainians should negotiate that crisis - through a dialogue, through convening a constitutional assembly, through holding a referendum and through adopting a new constitution and then holding a presidential election - precisely what the February 21 accord provided for,” Churkin said.

He expressed regret Russia’s Western partners “are appealing to some general ideas that are very far from the Ukrainian realities.”

“This is possibly the reason why the crisis in Ukraine has gone so far,” Churkin said.