Ukrainian leader calls rebel vote a farce inspired by Russia

by Reuters
Monday, 12 May 2014 06:52 GMT

KIEV, May 12 (Reuters) - Ukrainian acting president Oleksander Turchinov condemned Sunday's unofficial self-rule referendum in eastern regions as a farce inspired by Russia to destabilise Ukraine and topple the country's leaders in Kiev.

He said in a statement that the polls, in which pro-Russian rebels declared an ovewhelming vote for a break with Kiev, had no legal consequence for the country.

"These processes are inspired by the leadership of the Russian Federation and are destructive to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions' economies and threaten the lives and welfare of citizens and have the aim of destabilising the situation in Ukraine, disrupting (May 25) presidential elections and overthrowing Ukrainian authorities."

(writing by Ralph Boulton; editing by Pavel Polityuk)

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