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Russia may not recognize Ukrainian presidential election results — senator

The final decision is to be made by Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian Federation Council member Konstantin Kosachev  Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Federation Council member Konstantin Kosachev
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Prominent Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev said it was possible that Moscow would not recognize the results of the presidential election in Ukraine, depending on how the Ukrainian government reacts to numerous reports of election irregularities.

"I do not rule out any option. But I’m absolutely sure that it is too early to speak about it now. We need to wait and see how the Ukrainian government deals with thousands of reports about irregularities, submitted after the first round. We also need to see the runoff first. Conclusions can be made only after that," he told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

However, the senator added that the decision on recognizing the results of the vote will be made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the basis of a broad political discussion involving both chambers of the Russian parliament.

In a Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast on Sunday night, Kosachev said that Poroshenko will make the most of his administrative resources in the second round of the vote.

"I’m sure that prior the runoff, Ukraine’s vast administrative sector, which is subordinate to Poroshenko, will work at its full capacity for his benefit," said Kosachev, who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament.

In a post on his Facebook page earlier on Sunday, Kosachev urged international observers to pay close attention to the huge number of complaints about voting irregularities.

He told Ekho Moskvy that that the majority of vote rigging committed during the first round will take place at the municipal level. Kosachev also criticized Ukraine for not organizing video surveillance at polling stations.

"Elections in Ukraine are definitely not an example of a democratic process," he said, adding that the country’s government de-facto deprived millions of its citizens of their legitimate right to cast a ballot.

Commenting on who will head Ukraine during the next five years, Kosachev told Ekho Moskvy that "any candidate other than Poroshenko would be preferable for Russia."

"I would, of course, prefer the runoff without Poroshenko. This would be a good outcome for Russia," he said, adding that Moscow never tried to meddle with the vote or interfere into it. "For Russia, any Ukrainian president other than Poroshenko will be better, because we clearly understand that in case of his re-election, Ukraine would step up its anti-Russian policies."

In his opinion, Poroshenko’s difficulties with making it into the runoff were "a major defeat for his policies.".