Date
15 December 2017
Confectionary tycoon and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko meets supporters during a campaign rally in Cherkasy, central Ukraine, on May 20. Photo: Reuters
Confectionary tycoon and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko meets supporters during a campaign rally in Cherkasy, central Ukraine, on May 20. Photo: Reuters

Merkel urges Russia to accept OSCE verdict on Ukraine vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Russia to accept the verdict of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Sunday’s presidential election in Ukraine.

“I expect Russia to respect the OSCE’s assessment, which will without doubt be objective; after all it belongs to this organization itself,” Reuters quoted Merkel as saying in an interview to German newspaper Saarbruecker Zeitung.

About 1,000 observers from the OSCE, Europe’s leading human rights and democracy watchdog, will spread across Ukraine, for Sunday’s poll.

The vote is meant to stabilize Ukraine after mass street protests toppled Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich in February, but pro-Russian separatists have vowed to prevent the poll going ahead in eastern towns where they have seized control, Reuters noted.

Merkel said it would be one of the OSCE’s biggest ever electoral observation missions. “Unfortunately Russia has refrained from also sending observers on the OSCE mission even though it was invited to do so,” she added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has condemned the overthrow of Yanukovich as a coup, continued to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Ukraine’s election. He said on Wedneday that it would be more logical for Kiev to hold the vote after a referendum on a new constitution.

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