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Russia, EU, Acknowledge Different Views On Ukraine Election


The leaders of Russia and the European Union have acknowledged sharp differences over Ukraine's disputed presidential election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters each side favors a different approach to solving the Ukrainian crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a solution through the courts and within the framework of Ukraine's constitution.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Mr. Putin, has been declared the winner of Sunday's voting.

Mr. Balkenende reaffirmed the EU view that the vote failed to meet international standards because of widespread voting fraud.

In another development, Russia and the EU failed to finish negotiations on a so-called "strategic partnership."

Mr. Putin said he expects the two sides will be able to conclude the negotiations to formalize EU-Russian ties by the next summit in May.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.