Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has called on supporters of both candidates claiming victory in Ukraine’s presidential election to avoid violent confrontation.
The appeal came at a joint news conference with Portuguese premier Pedro Santana Lopes at his official residence in Lisbon. Putin described as “unacceptable” the reservations expressed by the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. “We can’t confirm or deny the result of Ukraine’s election because no result has been officially published,” he said. Following Sunday’s vote, Putin did telephone Ukraine’s premier Viktor Yanukovich to congratulate him. European Union officials have refrained from criticising that move, but they have called the poll fraudulent. Yesterday the EU said it was summoning Ukrainian envoys in member states to relay expressions of concern.