Self-proclaimed leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Roman Lyagin, says joining the Russian Federation might be “appropriate”.
Separatists in Donetsk declared a victory after a weekend referendum on self-rule which authorities in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv slammed as “bogus”.
The EU called the vote “illegal” and said it would not recognise the result.
Denis Pushilin, another member of the rebel leadership, said the country they join will be decided after consulting with experts.
“The corridor for dialogue [with Ukraine] is quite small and has practically closed now. Even theoretically there can be no direct dialogue already,” said Pushilin.
He ruled out a second vote to determine the region’s future.
Clearly the weekend vote has opened up a new phase of uncertainty in the east.
Some ‘yes’ campaigners want a second referendum to determine the fate of Donetsk and neighbouring province Luhansk, now that they have voted for self-rule.