MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russian ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov is to attend the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko as Ukrainian president, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters Thursday.
“The ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov will take part in the inauguration ceremony of Ukraine’s President. He [the ambassador] is returning to Kiev in order to continue executing his functions,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that Moscow is ready to work with new Ukrainian leadership and that he is ready to meet Poroshenko in France at the D-Day commemorations in France on Friday.
Snap presidential elections took place in Ukraine on May 25. The Central Election Committee officially announced businessman Petro Poroshenko the winner, announcing he received 54.7 percent of the votes. Poroshenko’s inauguration is scheduled for June 7.
The elections were held amid a deep political crisis in Ukraine and Kiev's large-scale military operation against independence supporters in the east of the country, which has resulted in dozens of civilian casualties. According to a RIA Novosti source in Kiev, Poroshenko ordered the military to “purge” the turbulent southeastern Ukraine of resistance forces before his inauguration.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.