MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – The eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk will not vote in the May 25 presidential election in Ukraine if the majority of residents support independence in a referendum two weeks earlier, a protest leader said Wednesday.
“We have no plans to take part in our neighbor’s election,” said Denis Pushilin, a leader of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk.
Pro-federalization rallies have been spreading across southeastern Ukraine since a regime change in Kiev in February. Ukraine’s parliament has scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
Protesters in Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine have been calling for referendums and the creation of independent people’s republics. The Donetsk region plans to hold such a referendum on May 11.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed doubts about the legitimacy of upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine, saying they violate international laws and urging Kiev to take into consideration the demands of all citizens in the country.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.