MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) - Moscow will not recognize the May 25 election in Ukraine, unless it is held on the basis of a nationwide, inclusive dialogue, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"We will recognize something that would be based on the all-inclusive process," he said in an interview with the Russia Today television channel, when asked whether Russia will consider the May 25 elections in Ukraine to be legitimate.
"To call an election without finding some common ground with the east and the south of Ukraine I think is very destructive for the country," the minister said.
At the same time, initially it was expected that the country will not hold the presidential election before conducting its constitutional reform, and this understanding was reflected in the February 21 agreement between Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition, the minister recalled.
Lavrov drew parallels with the situation around the Syrian settlement process. The United States and its Western allies insist that the Syrians hold presidential election after conducting constitutional reform, and this is stipulated in the Geneva communique on Syria, the minister said.
The same is written in the Ukraine agreement signed on February 21, Lavrov said.
Meanwhile, Western countries will consider the May 25 elections in Ukraine legitimate without the prior constitutional reform, he said.
The same people who are saying that the presidential election in Syria will not be legitimate without a constitutional reform will recognize the legitimacy of the May 25 elections, Lavrov said.
The U.S. is trying to make Russia responsible for settling international crises, and not just the Ukrainian one, he said.
"The Iranian issue depends on Russia alone, Syria depends on Russia alone… Now Ukraine depends entirely on Russia. I would say it is an absolutely unrealistic approach and an attempt to hide your own responsibility," said the Russian foreign minister.
(Our editorial staff can be reached at email@example.com)