By Madalena Araujo, CNN
The vote for autonomy in Ukraine’s rebel-held provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk is a repeat of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N. Yuriy Sergeyev told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.
“This is Crimea two,” Sergeyev said, adding that Russia annexing the eastern provinces is one of the “possible scenarios.”
Voters went to the polls on Sunday to elect leaders to rule the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics. The election was backed by the Kremlin, but labelled by Kiev and several Western governments as illegitimate, echoing what happened in the Crimean peninsula before Russia annexed it in February.
Ukraine is facing an “artificial scenario when alleged leaders backed by alleged support - they will propose, can propose to be a part of Russia,” Sergeyev said.
He also expressed concern that the fragile ceasefire agreed between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels in Minsk, Belarus, in September, has now been compromised.
“Because this is the scenario, the scenario of Moscow to keep the region pending in this conflict, and they are interested to have this instability, either to have more arguments and to break more laws during the next talks of the future of Donbas or just to keep the frozen conflict there,” Sergeyev said.
Sergeyev also told Amanpour that troops and material had moved across Russia’s border into Ukraine this weekend. “They enlarged their presence, they enlarged their military support,” he said.
Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it is supporting separatists in Ukraine, while the West has responded with economic sanctions for what it perceives as an aggressive stance in the eastern part of the country.
Sergeyev asked for “more sanctions against Russia, more political pressure.”
The United Nations estimates that the conflict in Ukraine has cost more than 4000 lives.
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