Russia Is Ready for Talks With Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Lavrov Says

Russia’s government is ready for talks with Petro Poroshenko, who partial results indicate won Ukraine’s presidential election yesterday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference Moscow today.

Lavrov said the fact that the ballot was held is positive and reiterated President Vladimir Putin’s earlier pledge to respect the election’s outcome, though he pointed out that the election campaign wasn’t without problems and some candidates were hindered. He called on the government in Kiev to halt its military operation in the country’s easternmost region, saying continuing the offensive would be a “colossal mistake.”

Discussions between Russia and Ukraine should be pragmatic, equal and without conditions, Lavrov said, adding that the two countries don’t need the U.S. and the European Union to act as intermediaries.

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