Russia not contributing to Ukraine diplomacy: Turchynov
Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has accused Russia of not contributing to diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the ongoing crisis in his country.
In an interview with AFP news agency on Wednesday, Turchynov said the Russian leaders are refusing any negotiations at foreign ministry or other top government levels with new Ukrainian officials.
"Unfortunately, for now Russia is rejecting a diplomatic solution to the conflict," he said.
Russia has previously said it favors a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Turchynov also alleged that Moscow intends to “falsify the results” of an upcoming referendum in Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region.
The interim president further described the planned vote as a "sham,” claiming “the referendum will not happen in Crimea but in the offices of the Kremlin.”
Moscow has yet to comment on these allegations.
Moreover, Turchynov rejected the possibility of Kiev’s military intervention in the Black Sea peninsula.
On Tuesday, the Crimean parliament adopted an independence declaration from Ukraine, which is necessary for the vote on joining the neighboring Russia, to be held on March 16.
Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed Crimean assembly’s declaration of independence from Ukraine, describing it as an “absolutely lawful” measure.
Political crisis erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, when the country’s ousted president, Victor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The Ukrainian parliament removed Yanukovych from power in February and named Turchynov, the legislature’s speaker, as the former Soviet state’s interim president.