The Russian authorities do not recognize the elections in the breakaway People's Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that the Kremlin respected, but did not recognize the November 2 elections in the people's republics.
Previously, policy-makers of foreign countries have threatened to tighten sanctions against Russian politicians, officials and businessmen, as well as state-run companies, should the country recognize the elections in the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. According to foreign officials, the elections were held in those territories contrary to the Minsk agreements from September 5th.
"Russia's official position has been expressed in a short, albeit capacious statement from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It uses the word "respect," Interfax quoted Ushakov as saying.
When asked whether it was possible to equate "respect" and "recognition", he replied: "These are different words. The word "respect" was chosen deliberately. We fundamentally respect the will of the voters."
Noteworthy, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that Vladimir Putin was not going to meet with elected heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky.