Russia has signaled its willingness to hold talks with the newly elected Ukrainian president in the first sign the troubled eastern European country is gaining a sense of stability.
On Monday, chocolate baron Petro Poroshenko was declared winner of Sunday’s presidential election and Moscow said it’s ready to engage in dialogue with him, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The conciliatory tone by Moscow, which has already annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, marked a new phase in a political drama that has raised the specter of crippling economic sanctions on Russia from the West.
But serious challenges remain as fighting continues in Ukraine’s east and the Kremlin deals with the economic aftershocks of sanctions already imposed and the broader geopolitical fallout from its actions, the report said.
The insurgency took an alarming turn as pro-Russian rebels seized a regional airport, leading to the first military battle in a major city since the unrest began.
Poroshenko vowed to win over people in eastern Ukraine, the country’s industrial heartland.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stopped short of saying Moscow recognizes the election but said it respects the will of the Ukrainian people.
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