Russia to recognize rebel vote in Donetsk, Luhansk

Oct 28, 2014, 7:37 AM EDT
Pro-Russian separatists commemorate their relatives who killed during the clashes in Eastern Ukraine, on October 25, 2014, in Donetsk, Ukraine.
AFP/Getty Images

Russia says it will recognise the results of controversial separatist elections in eastern Ukraine, which the rebels plan to hold on 2 November. The BBC reports:

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions "will be important to legitimise the authorities there".

But Ukraine and Western governments say the elections should not go ahead. They accuse Russia of arming the rebels.

Ukrainian troops have been battling the pro-Russian rebels in the east. A shaky truce took effect on 5 September, but there have been many violations and the situation remains very volatile.

In Kiev pro-Western parties are leading after Ukraine's national parliamentary elections on Sunday. Ukraine has urged Russia to put pressure on the separatists not to hold rival elections in the east.

But Mr Lavrov said "we expect the elections will go ahead as agreed, and we will of course recognise the results".

Meanwhile, EU politicians are not unanimous over Ukraine's future after parliamentary elections. TASS reports:

Ukraine’s newly-elected parliament is unlikely to restore Ukraine to stability, Italian politician and journalist, Giulietto Chiesa, has told TASS.

“Stability is still very far away. Apparently, after the elections the prevailing presence of right-wing parties inside the Verkhovna Rada will be used as a pretext for an offensive (against Donetsk and Luhansk regions),” Chiesa said.

He voiced the fear that Ukrainian politicians will be inviting pro-Western forces to join the conflict. “There is Poland and there are the Baltic republics. Apparently, there are people who may be preparing all this,” he said.

Chiesa sees the United States as the main actor in the Ukrainian conflict. “It has engineered the crisis in Ukraine to provoke Russia. It has used Ukraine as a big stick in order to break Russia,” he believes.

“The aim has not been achieved yet, so it will be moving further on. I have the impression that the US leadership is determined to stop at nothing.” A solution of the Ukrainian crisis may be achieved “only if Europe develops the awareness of the danger looming over it, because it would be an operation not just against Russia, but against Europe as well.”