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Russia Sharply Criticizes Western Stance on Ukraine Crisis


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has sharply criticized what he terms "attempts by Western countries to influence the outcome" of the disputed Ukrainian presidential election.

Mr. Lavrov told a Moscow news conference Friday, Russia is concerned at what he called "Western efforts to steer the situation in Ukraine from the legal path and towards the West." He said Ukrainian voters alone should decide their country's future.

Western countries have rejected full official results that declared Ukraine's Kremlin-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner of Sunday's election. They say the vote fell far short of international standards.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus arrived in Kiev Friday to join international mediation efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.

Also, Ukraine's television networks have begun live coverage of the opposition demonstrations in Kiev, the first time they have presented opposition views.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.

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