ST. PETERSBURG, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – There is reason to believe that the results of Ukraine's upcoming presidential election will be “smoothed over,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
“There is, unfortunately, reason to believe that the [Ukrainian election] results will be smoothed over and some of the facts will be hidden that are not very appeasing to the current Ukrainian forces and their sponsors,” Lavrov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
The Russian foreign minister earlier said that in order for Moscow to recognize the results of the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, the voting should be completely fair and transparent.
Russian Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Friday the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine raises doubts.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russia on Friday to accept the verdict of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the results of the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, and expressed regret over the fact that Russia had refused to send observers to Ukraine as part of the OSCE mission. On Wednesday, the Central Election Commission of Russia said Moscow had not received an invitation from Ukraine to send observers to the election.
The Ukrainian parliament scheduled an early presidential election on May 25 following a regime change and the ouster of legitimate president Victor Yanukovich in February. Moscow has repeatedly called on Kiev to deal with the unrest in the southeastern regions of country, which is rapidly turning into a civil war, before holding an election. Ukraine’s interim authorities, backed by the West, however, announced they do not see any obstacles to the vote.