Kyiv has issued a stark warning about potential attempts by Russia to disrupt Ukraine’s parliamentary election on Sunday (26 October).
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said: “It’s absolutely clear that there are still provocations from the Russian side and that will continue in the future.”
“They had no success (in provoking Ukraine) during the presidential election (in May). There were some attempts and they didn’t abandon these plans,” Yatseniuk continued.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said 61,000 police officers – including 4,000 members of Ukrainian special forces - would be on guard at polling stations across the country.
Ukraine is holding its first parliamentary election since mass street protests last winter drove Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich to flee the country.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that Russia hoped the elections will be held according to all “democratic principles and norms,”
“We also hope that the new parliament of Ukraine will provide the necessary conditions for the renewal of our cooperation through the parliamentary structures,” Lukashevich added.
The “party of peace” bloc supporting Ukraine’s pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko is leading in pre-election polls.