Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published May 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Page modified May 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Russia ready to speak with new Ukrainian president

Moscow is ready for a direct dialogue with Ukraine's new president and doesn't need any Western mediation, Russia's foreign minister said Monday.


advertising

MOSCOW —

Moscow is ready for a direct dialogue with Ukraine's new president and doesn't need any Western mediation, Russia's foreign minister said Monday.

Sergey Lavrov said Russia has a positive view on Ukraine's presidential vote and is ready to deal with billionaire candy tycoon Petro Poroshenko, who holds a commanding lead, according to early returns.

Lavrov said that Russia noted Poroshenko's statements about the importance of normalizing ties with Moscow and the need to establish a dialogue with eastern regions, where pro-Russia insurgents have seized government buildings and fought government troops.

He said that "we are ready for dialogue with Kiev representatives, with Petro Poroshenko." He added that "we don't need any mediators," in a reference to a possible role of the United States and the European Union in such talks.

With votes from 60 percent of precincts counted early Monday, Poroshenko was leading the Ukrainian elections with about 54 percent in the field of 21 candidates. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was running a distant second with 13 percent.

The 48-year-old billionaire, who claimed victory after exit polls showed him with a commanding lead in Sunday's vote, has said he supports strong ties with Europe but also wants to mend ties with Russia.

Speaking after the polls closed, Poroshenko promised a dialogue with residents of eastern Ukraine and to guarantee their rights, including the right to speak Russian. He said he was ready to extend amnesty to those who haven't taken up weapons and that meetings with Russia should be held as soon as possible.

"And I think that Russia is our neighbor. And without Russia it would be much less effective or almost impossible to speak about the security in the whole region or maybe about the global security," Poroshenko said.

The election, which came three months after pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was chased from office by crowds following months of street protests and allegations of corruption, was seen as a critical step toward resolving Ukraine's protracted crisis.

Since his ouster, Russia has annexed the Crimea Peninsula in southern Ukraine, the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk have declared their independence from Kiev, and the interim Ukrainian government has launched an offensive in the east to quash an uprising that has left dozens dead.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►