In contrast to the United States, Russia has announced that they “respect the will of the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” after Sunday’s referendum, in which voters there overwhelmingly backed the People’s Republic of Donetsk protest movement.
Exactly what this means for those regions isn’t clear, and Russia was similarly vague on their view of the matter, beyond saying that now more than ever they support renewed dialogue between Ukraine and the protesters.
Russian officials did not address the calls from some in the protest movement to consider accession into the Russian Federation, and indications are that Russia would prefer not to see that happen, as integrating the impoverished industrial area would be extremely costly.
Ukraine’s interim government, itself created as a result of protests, has ruled out any negotiation with the eastern protesters, who they dubbed “terrorists.” They have likewise condemned the referendum.
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