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Venezuela says won't recognize Kiev authorities until free elections in Ukraine

Venezuela "does not recognize and will not recognize as legal a government that emerged as a result of a state coup," the Bolivarian Republic's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

"In view of a regrettable development of events in Ukraine, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirms that it rejects violent processes that, with the support of the United States and NATO, led to the overthrow of the government, jeopardizing the peace and unity of the Ukrainian people as well as the stability of the entire Eurasian region," the statement says.

"Until free elections are held in Ukraine and broad dialogue starts, Venezuela will keep warning the world's nations of the danger of foreign interference, speaking for the creation of a multipolar world that guarantees the peace and sovereignty of all peoples," it says.

Ukraine is in turmoil after a coup occurred in the country in February following months of anti-government protests dubbed "Euromaidan", which often turned violent. New people were propelled to power amid riots as President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. The new authorities set early presidential elections for May 25.

The Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum March 16 in which it overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. The accession deal with Moscow was signed March 18.

After Crimea's accession to Russia, protests against the new Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine's Russian-speaking southeastern territories, with demonstrators seizing some government buildings and demanding broader powers for regions.

The Kiev authorities have been conducting what they call an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders, has condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian federalization supporters.

Dozens of people have died in clashes and a fire in the southern city of Odessa after radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House on May 2 and in the southeastern city of Mariupol when Ukrainian law enforcers opened fire from armored vehicles on participants of a rally held in honor of Victory Day on May 9.

The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions will hold referendums on self-determination on Sunday.

[Source: Itar Tass, Caracas, 11May14]

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Ukraine Unrest
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