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You're reading: Russia, West diverge sharply on ‘elections’ in Ukraine’s east
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Western and Ukrainian leaders have condemned the elections in the two self-proclaimed republics and say the sham vote threatens to derail the September cease-fire agreements, which stated local elections have to be held in accordance with Ukrainian law.

Russia, however, seems undeterred by the threat of tougher economic measures for violating the peace accord reached in Minsk, Belarus.

“We respect the expression of the will of the residents of the southeast. The elected representatives have received a mandate to solve effectively any problem to restore regular life in the regions,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Nov.3. The ministry also said that the election was “generally well-organized” and had a “high turnout.”

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