Russia has recognized elections held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, as Kiev and the European Union called them illegal, SIA reports quoting the AA.
Luhansk Chief Election Commissioner Sergei Kozyakov said on Monday that about 628,138 people voted in the polls for new parliaments and leaderships in the two self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and which were held in defiance of the Kiev government.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Russia respected the expression of the will of the residents of eastern Ukraine and said those who were elected had received a mandate to resolve problems and re-establish "normal life" in the troubled region.
The ministry also called for dialogue between the central Ukrainian government and the representatives of the Donbas region, in line with the Minsk cease-fire agreement agreed by both sides on Sept. 5 in Minsk, Belarus, in the presence of Russian and European authorities.
The deal aimed to put an end to months of deadly clashes between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.