MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is ready to become a reliable partner for the new Ukrainian leader if he acts in the interests of the whole country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
“We believe he will act in the interests of all Ukrainian people. If so, he will find a serious and reliable partner in us,” Lavrov told journalists in Moscow.
The May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine came amid a large-scale military operation launched by the Kiev regime to crack down on protesters in the east refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the government.
After claiming victory in the election, billionaire businessman Petro Poroshenko said the special operation in eastern Ukraine should continue and become more effective. The statement came as Lavrov warned Monday the resumption of the operation would be a tremendous mistake.
Lavrov recalled that the representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which monitored Sunday’s vote, have called on Poroshenko to seek genuine dialogue with all residents in the country’s southeast.
“This is now the most important criterion to test the true intentions of both the Kiev authorities and Petro Poroshenko personally,” the Russian minister said.
Billionaire Poroshenko has taken 54.5 percent of the vote in Ukraine’s presidential election with 95 percent of ballots counted, the country’s Central Election Commission announced Tuesday.
Southeastern Ukraine has been swept by rallies since early spring. Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and urged interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.
In response, Ukrainian authorities launched a special operation to stop the protests. Moscow called the operation, which has already left scores of civilians dead, a “punitive act.”