News / Europe

    US Says It Does Not Recognize E. Ukraine Polls

    FILE - White House Spokesman Jay Carney
    FILE - White House Spokesman Jay Carney
    VOA News
    The United States says it does not recognize the results of “so-called” referendums held on Sunday in eastern Ukraine, viewing them as "a transparent attempt to create disorder."

    White House spokesman Jay Carney offered the assessment at a press briefing on Monday, a day after pro-Russia separatists held votes in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions claiming overwhelming popular support for the regions’ secession from Ukraine.

    "We do not recognize the results," Carney said.

    He expressed disappointment that Russia not only did not use its leverage to forestall the votes but that Russian media even attempted to legitimize them.

    He also expressed concern over apparent efforts to disrupt Ukraine's presidential elections, scheduled for May 25, saying that international efforts should now be centered on allowing Ukraine to hold a free and fair poll.

    Carney gave credit to Kyiv authorities for what he said were efforts to address grievances of residents of Ukraine's east through negotiations.

    Holding "illegal referendums" and "annexing parts of countries" is not a way forward, he added.

    Kyiv and Western governments have been accusing Moscow of orchestrating the current unrest in Ukraine’s east and south.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an end to the undermining of Ukraine's territorial integrity.

    “Over the past weeks there has been much violence and little dialogue. I call on all those who have sought to undermine Ukraine’s unity, territorial integrity and stability to immediately cease such actions. The authorities in Kyiv should also continue to respond to such acts with the maximum restraint and within the parameters of Ukrainian law and international human rights principles,” said Ban.

    Pleas for Russian troops, annexation

    The pro-Russian separatist mayor of Ukraine’s eastern city of Slovyansk said on Monday his region needed Russian troops to provide stability and peace.
    FILE - Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, separatist mayor of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, holds up a referendum ballot.FILE - Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, separatist mayor of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, holds up a referendum ballot.
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    FILE - Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, separatist mayor of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, holds up a referendum ballot.
    FILE - Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, separatist mayor of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, holds up a referendum ballot.


    Speaking a day after controversial referendums in eastern Ukraine, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov described Ukrainian troops there as occupiers.

    “They should go ... We're going to defend our territory,” he said in his sandbagged administrative building in Slovyansk, the most heavily defended rebel city in the east.

    Earlier Monday, separatist leaders in Donetsk region appealed to Moscow  to consider its absorption into the Russian Federation to “restore historic justice.”

    Pro-Russian separatists in Luhansk region followed suit, the Associated Press reported.

    Similar moves precipitated Russia's annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in March.

    The call in Donetsk was made by Denis Pushilin, a leading member of the self-declared “Donetsk People's Republic,” at a news conference in the city..
    Denis Pushilin, senior member of the pro-Russia separatist rebellion leadership, meets with journalists in Donetsk, May 12, 2014.Denis Pushilin, senior member of the pro-Russia separatist rebellion leadership, meets with journalists in Donetsk, May 12, 2014.
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    Denis Pushilin, senior member of the pro-Russia separatist rebellion leadership, meets with journalists in Donetsk, May 12, 2014.
    Denis Pushilin, senior member of the pro-Russia separatist rebellion leadership, meets with journalists in Donetsk, May 12, 2014.

    "Based on the will of the people and on the restoration of a historic justice, we ask the Russian Federation to consider the absorption of the Donetsk People's Republic into the Russian Federation,” he said.

    Pushilin said Ukraine, Belarus and Russia - states that formed the core of the now defunct Soviet Union - belonged in a restored historic union.

    The results of the Donetsk and Luhansk votes should be implemented peacefully, Russia said earlier, without saying what further action it might take.

    Meanwhile, Moscow has called on Ukraine's government on Monday to hold a nationwide debate of the country's future structure in light of the poll results in the country’s east.

    Kyiv, EU denounce votes

    Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, has slammed the rebel-held referendums as a "propaganda farce without any legal basis."
     
    However, he added that he wanted to "continue dialogue with those in the east of Ukraine who have no blood on their hands and who are ready to defend their goals in a legitimate way."
    Secessionist referendum official Alexander Malyhin holds a document as he speaks to journalists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.Secessionist referendum official Alexander Malyhin holds a document as he speaks to journalists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.
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    Secessionist referendum official Alexander Malyhin holds a document as he speaks to journalists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.
    Secessionist referendum official Alexander Malyhin holds a document as he speaks to journalists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.


    The European Union has also condemned the votes as illegal. European Union foreign ministers added two Crimean companies and 13 people to the bloc's sanctions list, EU diplomats said. These are in addition to 48 Russians and Ukrainians who have already been targeted with EU asset freezes and visa bans.

    The EU ministers also hinted on Monday that any disruption of elections in Ukraine on May 25 could trigger new economic sanctions against Russia.
     
    But the EU remains far behind the United States in the severity of the sanctions it has imposed on Russia. Some European governments fear tough trade sanctions on Russia could undermine their own economies, just recovering from the financial crisis, and provoke Russian retaliation.
     
    Coup accusations

    Turchynov also accused Russia of working to overthrow legitimate state authorities in Ukraine on Monday after pro-Russian rebels declared a resounding victory in referendums in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
    FILE - Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr TurchynovFILE - Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov
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    FILE - Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov
    FILE - Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov
     

    Turchynov said the Kremlin was trying to disrupt a presidential election scheduled for May 25 which is taking center stage in a confrontation pitting Moscow along with pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine against the government in Kyiv and its Western backers.

    Ukraine's May 25 election is intended to secure democratic continuity and legitimacy after pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in February, and Western governments have threatened more sanctions in the vital areas of energy, financial services and engineering if Moscow disrupts the vote.

    Separatists to form own army

    Following Sunday's referendums, separatist leaders in Donetsk say they will form their own army and expect all forces affiliated with Kyiv to leave the region.
    A pro-Russian gunman stands guard outside an administrative building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.A pro-Russian gunman stands guard outside an administrative building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.
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    A pro-Russian gunman stands guard outside an administrative building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.
    A pro-Russian gunman stands guard outside an administrative building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk May 12, 2014.


    Ukraine’s government is already struggling with its anti-separatist military campaign and is reported to be short on men.  Analysts say they fear the authorities are likely to rely on irregulars more and that the fighting could spread beyond the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which voted Sunday.

    Luhansk separatist leader Valery Bolotov said now that the plebiscites are over, his pro-Russian militiamen as well as separatists from Donetsk will start turning their attention elsewhere to help other regions agitate for a break from Ukraine.
     
    He said separatists will not enter into any talks with Kyiv and that the only negotiations currently are about prisoner and hostage exchanges.

    TV wars

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Western ambassadors on Monday to base the reports they write for their countries about the crisis in Ukraine on what they see on Russian television.

    Lavrov accused Ukraine of blocking Russian television broadcasts onto its territory and, echoing charges by Kyiv about Moscow, said the fellow former Soviet republic's media were broadcasting lies about the crisis.

    They are trying to set up an information blockade and, with unbiased information closed off to viewers and radio listeners, run completely shameless lies,” Lavrov told a news conference.

    “The ambassadors in Moscow obviously see what Russian TV is showing in live broadcasts and I am sure they are obliged to report to their capitals the facts they see live. Otherwise they would be doing a totally unprofessional job,” said Lavrov.

    Russian media, most under direct or indirect government control, are widely viewed in the West as distorting news about events in Ukraine both for internal and external consumption.

    Moscow turns up pressure on Kyiv

    Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom has reiterated its threat to stop supplying Ukraine with gas if it does not pay in advance for June deliveries, Russian news agencies reported on Monday.

    Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Gazprom will present Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz with a bill for June on Tuesday, demanding payment by June 2, the reports said.
              
    He said the amount of gas to be supplied would be zero if no payment is made.

    Gazprom says Ukraine owes it $3.51 billion and has warned in recent weeks that it would demand pre-payment for gas from next month.

    President Vladimir Putin warned European gas customers last month that deliveries could be disrupted if Gazprom cuts supplies to transit nation Ukraine.

    Jamie Dettmer contributed to this story from Donetsk. Some reporting by Reuters.
     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 5
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    by: Isaac from: Dallas Texas
    May 12, 2014 10:36 PM
    What a hypocrisy. We don't recognize the results of the Referendum. The "West" started all this mess by deposing a legally elected president of Ukraine and installing a puppet to do the wishes of the International money gansters. That referendum is the result of the wishes of the people who are fed up with the lies, deceptions and slavery of the money masters of the "West".
    In Response

    by: Todd from: whocares
    May 16, 2014 11:34 AM
    very true I agree with you

    by: Winston from: USA
    May 12, 2014 10:28 PM
    Don't worry, voters of E. Ukraine the US also does not recognize the patently obvious fact that our country is bankrupt (17 trillion +)so, as long as they don't send you Mrs. Yellen,Mr. Bernanke, or Mr. Greenspan as economic advisers you should turn out alright.

    by: Robert from: USA California
    May 12, 2014 9:10 PM
    People on this forum are talking about the US being an oligarchy. This has some support according to recent study that found it was the wealthy who decide who gets to serve in the US government and it is the wealthy who decide the priorities of Congress. In fact we vote for people who are placed on the ballot by the rich, which gives our country the appearance of populist democracy.

    The same holds true for Russia. Russia, like America, is a democratic oligarchy where the wealthy decide who gets to run.

    The main, defining, difference between the American and Russian oligarchies is that the American oligarchy aims toward equal treatment of everyone by the law regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. In the Russian oligarchy, you are equal only if the majority agrees with your political views, your religion, your sexual orientation, or you happen to be the right ethnicity.



    In Response

    by: Dumbfounded from: uk
    May 13, 2014 2:34 AM
    Hahahaha you must be kidding right ? " aims toward equal treatment of everyone" . Unless your a corporation. Or black, or hispanic, or disagree with the government.
    In Response

    by: Markus Virba
    May 13, 2014 2:18 AM
    You cant have majority rule on everything since majority is not informed with reality to make the right choice. Rich is a wrong label, since smart people naturally become rich based on intelligent decision through out their life. Obama is perfect example since he is well educated and was not rich to begin with. Most rich people will side with smart people since they are smart them self.

    by: Paul Tan from: USA
    May 12, 2014 7:38 PM
    Truth be told, many don't believe Obama won legitimately either, so there! Quit minding other country's business, good or bad!

    by: Eastariel Noneofyo-bizniss
    May 12, 2014 6:56 PM
    ~ TO BE PRO-RUSSIAN, BE PRO-UKRAINIAN ~
    Dear Ukraine insurgents (separatists),
    I asked Putin to go on vacation. I'm going to help you instead.
    The bandits who stole your government are trying to use you to destroy Russia. They have cornered you and sold you to their bandit lord as gun-toting slaves to tinker himself a throne by cutting Ukraine in half.
    I suggest, anti-Ukrainians, that you kiss'n'make up with your fellow Ukrainians, and with them, elect new leaders who really CARE ABOUT YOU ALL.
    If you don't like your Nation, repair it first, then move to Russia second, if they'll have you.
    Thanksky for listening.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    May 12, 2014 5:58 PM
    TRUTH BE TOLD -- Russia doesn't recognize KOSOVO, and China doesn't recognize Taiwan, and now the US doesn't recognize Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk -- (BUT?) -- like somebody said: "What difference does it make" -- (BECAUSE?) -- the deed is done, and the die is cast, isn't it?
    RECOGNITION of an Independent State is in the political eyes of the countries political views... -- and if only one country recognizes or doesn't recognize them, makes no difference on how the UN won't recognize them, does it? -- They're all not recognized by the UN as independent states, are they?
    BLAME the Kiev coup leaders, the US, EU, and NATO, for the destruction of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian people share in the blame, for letting them destroy Ukraine....

    by: faw
    May 12, 2014 4:51 PM
    We must knee Russia! It must be economically destroyed!
    In Response

    by: ThomaT from: Thailand
    May 12, 2014 7:47 PM
    Remark by dumbed- down fluoridated yank.

    by: John Doe'd
    May 12, 2014 4:07 PM
    The United States believe's Russia is doing an illegal annexation in Ukraine, and won't allow the Russians to get away with it.

    Didn't the United States , Illegally Annex Hawaii.

    The United States has never offered to return Hawaii to the Kingdom of Hawaii.

    Take a moment and read the " Apology Act ".

    It's ok when the "U.S." , takes illegally ... Why shouldn't it be ok for Russia ?

    by: moritz katz from: germany
    May 12, 2014 3:56 PM
    What has become of the America I knew who defeated the will of the people and their right to vote? The entire world now sees the web of lies and deceit the USA has woven.

    by: Steve from: Berkeley California
    May 12, 2014 3:39 PM
    Most of us didn't recognize Bush vs. Gore when an election was stolen by the GOP and big money boys. This election in Ukraine was much fairer than our own. So to the US propaganda mill fuggetaboutit. What you consider fair or right is irrelevant to Russians and their Ukrainian brethren who have decided for themselves what they want. Stop crying gin your beer and making mischief where none is needed. We have enough domestic troubles to occupy ourselves with for a hundred years. Pay attention to the homefront. just the other day a story in San Jose indicated how porous is airport security. Where have you folks been? On the moon? Mars. Spend the billions needed and fix it instead of blowing it on the Ukraine, Pakistan and hundred other places abroad where it will be stolen and misused. You are squandering our birthright instead of using it at home..
    Freedom requires responsibility to be exercised if it is to be just and meaningful. Our freedom is being eroded day by day through laws made to control dissent and coopt the electoral process for the 2 party mess that is strangling America slowly.
    In Response

    by: Isaac from: Dallas Texas
    May 12, 2014 10:45 PM
    You are absolutely right Mr. Steve. Our government spend trillions of dollars in wars and interventions that are in no benefit to the American people and are not taking care of the problems here at home. All these wars and interventions had left our government with a debt of more than 18.5 trillion dollars. How are they going to pay that debt when they can't even pay the interests?.
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