British foreign secretary says Ukraine should be given opportunity to decide its own fate
Tbilisi, Georgia, May 8
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
No one should interfere in the Ukrainian people's free expression of will, British Foreign Secretary, William Hague said Thursday, May 8.
He made the remarks at a press conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia, following his meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze.
Hague said that prior to his visit to Tbilisi, he visited Kiev.
British foreign secretary stressed that it is very important to give Ukraine an opportunity to decide its own fate, and the Ukrainian people should themselves make a decision on their future.
Hague went on to say that probably the presidential election scheduled for May 25, will show the Ukrainians' mood, adding that this election should be held without any interference and violence.
Hague also added he hopes the people in Ukraine's eastern part will listen to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin who said this election will be decisive and the referendums that are supposedly to be held in Donetsk will not hinder all of this.
A change of power took place in Ukraine on February 22.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25.
Yanukovych said he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state.
A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.
The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.
With the exception of Russia most countries refused to recognize the referendum and its results.
On March 18, Russia and Crimea signed an agreement on Crimea as well as Sevastopol city joining the Russian Federation.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by S.I.