Kyiv, May 12, 2014 – The pseudo-referendums on the status of the regions which took place on May 11 in Donetsk and Lugansk regions were not recognized by any country in the world. This was stated by the Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Policy Studies Vasyl Filipchuk during a press briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
“The international response shows that no country has recognized the so-called “referendums”. Even the currently released opinion of the Kremlin’s press secretary is also ambiguous and cannot be taken for the official stance of the Russian Federation”, emphasized Filipchuk.
Thus, according to the expert’s opinion, the international community keeps solidarity in its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. In particular, it is testified by today’s visit to Ukraine of the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and by a joint meeting of the Government of Ukraine and the European Commission to be held this week in Brussels. Filipchuk also noted that a decision of the EU Council on the new package of sanctions by the EU is currently being expected against those who are responsible for conducting and financing the “referendums”.
“It is clear there is no way the events of May 11 could be called referendums. That was an imitation of referendums. Voting on the street, filling in the voter list by hand and a number of other violations on which the media have already reported do not leave any chance to deem these so-called “referendums” anything but a farce or a fake,” stressed Filipchuk. According to his forecast, these pseudo-referendums will only be used as an additional trump card by the Kremlin and local oligarchs to raise the ante in their negotiations with Kyiv before the presidential election.
Besides, as said by Filipchuk, given today’s circumstances Ukrainian authorities should reinforce their outreach and awareness activities with local communities to convey that the flight of Victor Yanukovych is not the defeat of Donbass residents and the presidential election is the chance for Donbass residents to see a better future. Moreover, it is desirable that the presidential election be held in one round as that will be a very strong political sign of the citizen’s unity. On the contrary, the three-week break between the first and the second rounds will require efforts to maintain stability in the eastern regions.