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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ukraine's Election Schedule Unchanged Despite Violence – Kiev

RIA Novosti

18:59 05/05/2014

KIEV, May 5 (RIA Novosti) – The interim authorities in Kiev see no reason to postpone the May 25 presidential election in Ukraine despite deadly clashes in the country's southeastern regions, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's Information Policy Department said Monday.

"We ignore all initiatives to reschedule the election, planned for May 25. The vote will take place according to the schedule," Yevhen Perebiynis said.

The Russian Civic Chamber said Monday it was preparing an appeal to the UN and the European Council to postpone the presidential election in crisis-hit Ukraine until the situation in the country stabilizes.

The chamber is convinced that elections would be doomed to vote tampering and will only provoke further escalation of the conflict, as the country remains knee deep in bloody clashes and authorities in Kiev are unable to guarantee public safety.

Perebiynis said preparations for the polls are under way, in line with the national election authority's plan.

"Ukraine will do everything possible to conduct the elections in a free, transparent and democratic manner, with maximum involvement of foreign observers," the official said.

He added that the country supports the idea of further international dialogue to end weeks of violence in the country.

"We are positive about an initiative to hold another round of talks between parties to the Geneva accords. All sides concerned are currently involved in intense consultations," Perebiynis said.

The Geneva accords on the de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, reached last month by diplomats of Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union, envisage the disarmament of irregular militant groups and a dialogue on constitutional reforms.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last month that the current Ukrainian authorities have failed to comply with the agreement's provisions.

Despite Kiev's promises to lay down arms, attacks on pro-federalization protesters continued and Friday saw the bloodiest violence since the country's regime change in February. The highest casualty toll was reported in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, where 46 people died and over 200 were injured.

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