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Russia Prepared to Speak with Ukrainian Representatives After Election

Mon, 26 May 2014 14:04:17 +0000

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow is prepare to have talks with Ukrainian representatives following Sunday's election in which chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko declared victory.

Lavrov said that the Russian government would "respect the will expressed by the Ukrainian people," which meshes with comments made earlier by Vladimir Putin. Lavrov did say that while the election being completed was "a generally positive fact," it "was not without problems." Pro-Russian separatists disrupted polling in the eastern part of Ukraine.

Poroshenko said he plans to meet with Russian leaders soon, but said he would take a strong stance against armed separatists. Lavrov insisted that military action against separatists in eastern Ukraine must end.

Gunfire and fighter jets were heard on Monday at the airport in the region of Donetsk, where smoke was seen rising. It was not immediately clear who controlled the airport or whether there were any injuries or fatalities.

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