Moscow is ready for a direct dialogue with Ukraine’s new president and doesn’t need any Western mediation, Russia’s foreign minister said Monday.
Sergey Lavrov said Russia has a positive view on Ukraine’s presidential vote and is ready to deal with billionaire candy tycoon Petro Poroshenko, who holds a commanding lead, according to early returns, AP reports.
Lavrov said that Russia noted Poroshenko’s statements about the importance of normalizing ties with Moscow and the need to establish a dialogue with eastern regions.
He said that “we are ready for dialogue with Kiev representatives, with Petro Poroshenko.” He added that “we don’t need any mediators,” in a reference to a possible role of the United States and the European Union in such talks.
With votes from 60 percent of precincts counted early Monday, Poroshenko is leading the Ukrainian elections with about 54 percent in the field of 21 candidates. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is running a distant second with 13 percent.