News / Europe

    Putin Questions Ukraine Vote Legitimacy

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists after meetings in Shanghai May 21, 2014.
    Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists after meetings in Shanghai May 21, 2014.
    VOA News
    Russian President Vladimir Putin is raising doubts about the legitimacy of Ukraine’s presidential election but said Russia is moving its troops away from the border to help create favorable conditions for Sunday's vote.

    Putin said in Shanghai Wednesday that it will be difficult to build relations with people who come to power during what he called the "continuing punitive operation" in eastern Ukraine.

    He was referring to Ukrainian military action against pro-Russian separatists and the arrests of two pro-Kremlin Russian journalists.

    Ukrainian authorities said the reporters had portable anti-aircraft missiles in their cars.  Putin called that accusation "absolute rubbish."

    During a visit to Mexico Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took note of the announced troop pullback and said he hopes the situation is at a "good moment" where the Ukrainian people can determine their own future.
     
    • Ukrainian businessman, politician and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko (right) meets supporters during his election campaign, in Odessa, May 21, 2014.
    • Former Ukrainian prime minister and current presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko (right) meets supporters during her election campaign, Konotop, May 21, 2014.
    • Ukrainian businessman, politician and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko (left) meets supporters during his election campaign, in Odessa, May 21, 2014.
    • Former Ukrainian prime minister and current presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko (left) visits a hospital during her election campaign, in Sumy, May 21, 2014.
    • Local residents walk with their young children in a park, in Donetsk, May 21, 2014.
    • Workers stand near pipes at a gas compressor station near Uzhhorod. Russia has said state-controlled exporter Gazprom will not supply Ukraine with gas in June if Kyiv fails to pay in advance, May 21, 2014.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday that he has not seen any visible evidence of a Russian troop withdrawal.

    "And I don't personally think that Russia signing a deal with China for gas that they've been working on for 10 years has any impact on what is about to happen in Ukraine, which the people hopefully are going to have a chance to have an election. And we welcome President Putin's statement two days ago that he has instructed the troops that have been bivouacked along the border of Ukraine to move back to their home bases," said Rasmussen.

    "Hopefully we are in fact in a good moment, not a a moment of one party outwitting another, but at a constructive moment where there's the possibility of the people of Ukraine being able to determine their own future, and all of us trying to find a way to further deescalate the crisis. That's our goal and that's what we're focused on," he said.

    Some reporting by Reuters, AP.
     

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Igor from: Russia
    May 22, 2014 12:37 AM
    Of course the election itself is compeletly illegal because it is held by the illegal government which pays no attention to democracy at all. It has been proved by their use of heavy weapons against civilians in the East, organizing the mass killing in Odessa, arresting and detaining foreign journalists. Can anynone believe in their dirty story that those journalists were carrying anti-air missiles in their car? In fact those in power in Kiev may place a nuclear bomb in a journanist's car after they arrest him. No legal government can do such a dirty job of a gangster.

    by: unclesam20009 from: Shengzhen, China
    May 22, 2014 12:36 AM
    Maybe Mr Putin should raise doubt on the legitimacy of the referendum in Crimea in May and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Mr Putin supported the Crimea referendum, why he denied Chechen referendum?

    by: Anonymous
    May 21, 2014 6:01 PM
    Lets question mr "Putin"'s legitimacy.

    by: Mira from: Milan
    May 21, 2014 12:39 PM
    We must not buy any Russia 's goods,especially gas and oil! Putin is another Hitler!

    by: John from: US
    May 21, 2014 12:28 PM
    He will question it unless it's a favorable outcome to him. I guess it will be harder to double and triple vote in the area's they are not occupying.

    by: Anny from: China
    May 21, 2014 8:41 AM
    We are waiting to see the presidential election results. In my opinion, Russia will win.
    In Response

    by: Sundra from: Ukraine
    May 21, 2014 12:28 PM
    Anny, Russia in not in OUR elections in Ukraine. Russia will not be on the ballot. There will be no reference to Russia on the ballot. There will be no separation issues on the ballot. We are electing a new government that is not a puppet of Russia, as it has been in the past. Perhaps you need to get out of China for a first hand look?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora