Moscow, Oct 28 (EFE).- Russia will recognize the results of elections scheduled for November 2 in the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
"We hope the elections will be held as agreed and we are sure to recognize their results," Lavrov said in an interview with the LifeNews television channel and the Izvestia newspaper.
The top Russian diplomat pointed out that the elections due to be held in the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics "will be very important from the point of view of the legitimization of power".
"We hope the expression of people's will be free and no one from outside will try to frustrate it," Lavrov said.
Earlier, Donetsk People's Republic, or DPR, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin stressed that the parliamentary and presidential elections will help reduce tension in the troubled region.
Purgin said the DPR is ready to hold talks with the authorities in Kiev regarding all issues except political union.
He stressed that the DPR position has not changed.
"As before, we see ourselves as an independent state, but this does not exclude the possibility of holding a dialogue on various topics, including economic ties with Ukrainian neighbors", he said.
The pro-Russian separatists, who proclaimed independent republics in Donetsk and Lugansk, have been battling government forces since last May in a conflict that has claimed nearly 4,000 lives.
The rebels boycotted last Sunday's legislative elections in Ukraine, in which pro-Western parties are leading according to preliminary results.
A fragile truce has been in force since September 5, but both sides have accused each other of breaking it.
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