US says it does not recognise eastern Ukraine polls

The United States says it does not recognize the results of “so-called” referendums held on Sunday in eastern Ukraine, viewing them as “a transparent attempt to create disorder.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney offered the assessment at a press briefing on Monday, a day after pro-Russia separatists held votes in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions claiming overwhelming popular support for the regions’ secession from Ukraine.

“We do not recognize the results,” Carney said.

He expressed disappointment that Russia not only did not use its leverage to forestall the votes but that Russian media even attempted to legitimize them.

He also expressed concern over apparent efforts to disrupt Ukraine’s presidential elections, scheduled for May 25, saying that international efforts should now be centered on allowing Ukraine to hold a free and fair poll.

Carney gave credit to Kyiv authorities for what he said were efforts to address grievances of residents of Ukraine’s east through negotiations.

Holding “illegal referendums” and “annexing parts of countries” is not a way forward, he added.

Kyiv and Western governments have been accusing Moscow of orchestrating the current unrest in Ukraine’s east and south.


(Photo of Jay Carney: