MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's official stance on the recent elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DRP, LPR) in eastern Ukraine expressed by the country's Foreign Ministry as "respecting" them does not mean Moscow "recognizes" them, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said Friday.
"Russia's official position on the results of the elections is expressed compactly, but liberally. The word "respect" was used," Ushakov said.
When asked if the terms "respect" and "recognize" could be used equally with regard to the recent elections in eastern Ukraine, Ushakov said that "these are different words."
"The word "respect" was chosen on purpose," Ushakov stressed.
On November 2, DPR and LPR held independent elections for the heads of local governments and representatives of legislative bodies.
Several EU and US authorities said that elections in southeastern Ukraine violated the Minsk agreements, while Russia said it respected the results and emphasized that condemning them would undermine efforts to reach a peaceful settlement in Ukraine.