Russia says it would recognize rebel vote in east Ukraine

imgRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would recognize elections organized by pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine on Nov. 2 despite opposition from Kiev.

Ukraine held parliamentary elections on Sunday, which handed a clear victory to parties seeking closer ties with the West but voting did not take place in the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

The rebels have said they will hold their own elections a week later to underscore their independence from Kiev. Kiev and the West say they will not recognize those elections.

“The elections that will take place on the territory of the proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics will be important from the point of view of legitimizing power,” Lavrov told Russia’s Izvestia paper and LifeNews TV in an interview published in full on his ministry’s website on Tuesday.

Asked if Moscow would recognize the election results, he said: “We expect the elections to be held as arranged and of course we will recognize their results.”

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