EU slams 'so-called' referendum in east Ukraine

AFP , Sunday 11 May 2014

The European Union said Sunday it will not recognise the results of a "so-called" votes organised by separatists in eastern Ukraine.

"The so-called referenda in the parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions were illegal and we do not recognise the outcome," said Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy Catherine Ashton.

"Those who organised the referenda have no democratic legitimacy, and their organisation runs counter to the objective of the Joint Geneva Statement to de-escalate tensions," Kocijancic said.

Pro-Russian rebels claimed a massive turnout in a vote held Sunday to split east Ukraine into two independent republics, though pro-West Kiev slammed it as a "farce".

EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy who represents the bloc's 28 leaders, will fly to Ukraine on Monday to meet the interim government.

His visit takes place as European Union foreign ministers gather in Brussels to attempt to reconcile broad differences over how to respond to the worst crisis in Europe since the Cold War.

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