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Russia must respect Ukrainian choice, says Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt

May 26th, 2014
03:15 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

A day after Ukrainians elected pro-Western billionaire Petro Poroshenko, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Russia must “accept the reality” that an “overwhelming majority of them have made their choice.”

That choice is Poroshenko, who says that European integration is his priority. He has declared victory, and his main opponent has conceded.

“I don’t think the Russians were particularly happy about this particular election. But it has taken place and it has created, or produced, a very clear verdict.”

“And obviously the people of Ukraine want Petro Poroshenko as their president, and he wants to take the country closer to the European Union. That has to be accepted by Russia as well.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated on Monday that Moscow would recognize the result of the election, but he also raised questions about how the campaigning and election were conducted.

“I think it’s good that we have had some statements coming out of Moscow indicating that they will not totally reject the election result.”

Nonetheless, eastern Ukraine remains very volatile, where separatists remain ardent that they wish to join Russia. A CNN team near Donetsk airport witnessed a Ukrainian helicopter firing on and striking an unknown target.

“Clearly Russia must be able to play a constructive role to close down these destabilizing, armed activities going on in the east,” Bildt said.

“There are things that Russia can do. If you look at Russian state television, the propaganda that they are beaming into Ukraine, which are fuelling fear and hatred, I think that has to stop. There has to be some sort of objective information coming out of Moscow as well.”

It is unclear whether the U.S. and the European Union will impose further sanctions on Russia; Bildt said that European heads of state would discuss just that at a private dinner tomorrow.

But he admitted that the measures passed so far, focussed mostly on a handful of individuals, have not had a significant effect.

“I think Russia has taken a significant beating. Less from the sanctions and more from the activities or actions of Mister Putin himself and the uncertainty that that has installed in every sort of assessment of where Russia is heading.”

Meanwhile, Crimea remains under Russian control; Western countries insist they will never recognize the annexation, but there seems little prospect of the territory returning to Ukraine.

It is “fairly obvious” he said that the situation will not change soon,” Bildt said. But “we will consider this to be occupied, illegally occupied territory.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Russia • Ukraine
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Yanal Sago

    Those who do not take lessons from history will themselves become lessons for others.

    May 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • philos

      History is written by winners, no matter if winners are good or bad

      May 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  2. Yanal Sago

    Extensive historical knowledge is the soul of humanity.

    May 26, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  3. Western Propaganda

    All Heil The Chocolate King!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S39aOl-ZKY&w=640&h=390]

    He Comes In Peace!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLE-7JQBW2w&w=640&h=390]

    May 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  4. DCD

    I'd say they might come to an agreement as regards the status of Crimea.
    Why not concede.the bases to Russia similarily to Guantanamo for US forces and return the peninsula to Ukraine. To return the favor Ukraine assures not to station any military on the peninsula.

    May 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  5. Amaanpo

    American Economic Policy Now:–
    Sell Gold (So that it can be looted later) to keep it in circulation
    Buy best goods & services from other nations – pay them in dollars
    From Dollars , other nations will buy either Gold or US treasuries Bond.
    (a)Gold will be in Fed. Reserve bank , New york – so it comes back free to USA
    (b)US treasuries Bonds will also make dollar come back to US
    So America will keep both goods as well as the money.
    If a nation do not behave like a puppet then
    (1) Sell its gold from Fed. reserve bank , NY
    (2) Freeze its US treasuries bonds
    (3) Sack the dungeon , change its govt. using NGOs & ex-military ppl. , give them power in exchange for its wealth

    May 29, 2014 at 12:37 am | Reply
  6. Doroshenko Sergey

    I am 32 years old 23 out of which i had to live in Ukraine, now thatnks to Putin we got our motherlad back, no one annexed us, we were annexed by ukraine when USSR collapsed. Sick and tired of your double standards, when a bunch of people (far not even a half of ukraine) so called peacefull demonstrators (armed) attacking police taking over the military bases and trew ELECTED president they were fine, peacefull demonstrators, when half of country refused to accept so called new government youncall them separatists?!?! Yanukovich never used military planes helicopter etc... why in siriya elections are not ligitimate due to civil war and that it was only small part of country who voted, however in ukraine with civil war and small part of country who "voted" electiins are legitimate?!?! Double standards, show people the truth please or at lest stop brain wash them, i have not seen any reports on ukrainian government shooting civil people yesterday, as per so called new government there are no refugees in Donetsk or Luhansk any one killed there (civilians including) are considered to be separatists if they do not have weapon then separatists helpers... how about that?! People have to live in basements as they are scared to be in apartments .

    June 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Reply

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