Putin: Russia Will Respect Ukraine Vote

Speaking Friday from St. Petersburg at an investment forum, Vladimir Putin declared that Russia will recognize the results of Ukraine’s presidential vote. Russia wants peace and order in Ukraine, he said, and therefore will “respect the choice of the Ukrainian people.” The Russian president also said, however, that he hopes the new leader of Ukraine will end the military actions in Eastern Ukraine. Putin did direct some harsh language at Western powers, accusing them of supporting an “anti-constitutional coup d’etat” and saying that as a result, Ukraine is in a “full-scale civil war.” Given the recent back and forth over whether Putin kept his word about removing troops from Ukraine’s borders, his promise should be taken with a grain of salt.