Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia was prepared to work with whoever was elected in Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday. It is the first time he has explicitly indicated he will accept the result.
His words came as the acting president urged voters to turn out for the poll.
“Today we are building a new European country the foundation of which was laid by millions of Ukrainians who have proved they were able to protect and defend their choice, their country. We will never allow anyone to deprive us of our freedom and independence and to turn Ukraine into a part of the post Soviet empire,” Oleksandre Turchinov told viewers in a television address to the nation.
Events will be watched by monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. They are prepared for difficulties and are disappointed they will not he joined in their mission by Russians.
“Of course there will be problems, we know it, we all know it, in some parts of eastern Ukraine. Probably in less than 20 percent of the polling stations there will be problems. We asked our colleagues from the Duma and from the second chamber of the Russian Federation parliament to come. They didn’t want to come,” said Joao Soares, coordinator for an observation mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
One NGO estimated five per cent of those who want to will not be able to vote in Sunday’s poll.