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European election results 2014: David Cameron calls Nigel Farage a 'supremely tactical politician' who wants to 'destroy' the Conservatives

European election results 2014: David Cameron calls Nigel Farage a 'supremely tactical politician' who wants to 'destroy' the Conservatives

27 May 2014 | 11:33 | FOCUS News Agency
London. David Cameron has launched a full-blown attack against Nigel Farage, describing the Ukip leader as a “supremely tactical” and “consummate politician” on a mission to “destroy the Conservative party”, The Independent comments
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, the Prime Minister drew the battle lines and said he refused to accept Mr Farage’s image as a “normal bloke down the pub”.
He pointed to controversies over Mr Farage’s expenses from Brussels and his wife’s position on the taxpayer funded payroll as evidence the leader was not a man of the people.
He also firmly dismissed the idea of a Conservative-Ukip pact as little more than a “great myth”.
“I don’t see any prospect of [a pact] happening, from what I read in the Sunday newspapers Nigel Farage wants to destroy the Conservative party not to work in tandem with it,” Mr Cameron said.
He added: “Ukip themselves said in their pre-election email to everyone this is your chance for a free hit. General elections aren’t a free hit, they have real consequences on who is governing your country for the next five years.
“The European parliament is important but people do see it as an opportunity to send a message, and a variety of messages to the Government.”
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UNIAN, Ukraine: Line of vehicles enters Ukraine from Russia

UNIAN, Ukraine: Line of vehicles enters Ukraine from Russia

27 May 2014 | 08:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. A line of vehicles crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border last night and entered Ukraine, where Ukrainian border guards fired at it. Clashes ensued, during which the transgressors managed to make their way in Ukraine in the direction of the town of Antratsyt, Luhansk Oblast, UNIAN reported.
”At about 3:30 am on May 27 the border guards saw a line of several trucks, cars and microbuses, which was moving from Russia towards the state border of Ukraine. At 3:40 am the line crossed the state border, where it was met by a border patrol. Clashes broke out. The transgressors managed to partially make their way in Ukraine in the direction of Antratsyt. A microbus and two cars were damaged and seized by the border guards as a result of the combat activities. One of the terrorists was seriously injured,” the press centre of the border service of Ukraine announced.
It also said firearms and explosive materials were found in the seized vehicles.
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Ukraine vote 'largely upheld democratic commitments'

Ukraine vote 'largely upheld democratic commitments'

26 May 2014 | 15:59 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine's presidential election "largely upheld democratic commitments" and provided the new leader with the legitimacy needed to tackle the country's separatist insurgency, observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday, cited by AFP.
The authorities helped "facilitate an election that largely upheld democratic commitments," said the head of the OSCE mission. Another European observer said the vote "provides the new president of Ukraine with the legitimacy to establish immediately an inclusive dialogue with all citizens in the eastern regions."
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Heavy shooting after Ukraine rebels seize Donetsk airport

Heavy shooting after Ukraine rebels seize Donetsk airport

26 May 2014 | 14:45 | FOCUS News Agency
Donetsk. The main airport in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk was rocked by an explosion and heavy shooting on Monday after armed rebels seized the facility, an AFP correspondent at the scene said, cited by AFP.
Thick black smoke was seen rising from the airport complex as the sound of heavy machinegun fire rang out and fighter jets could be heard overhead.
Scores of armed separatists had earlier seized control of the modern airport, which was revamped for the 2012 European football championship, halting all flights out of the rebellion hit city.
The strategic transport hub had been evacuated and sealed off after gunmen claiming to be from the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" showed up overnight demanding that Ukrainian troops guarding the airport perimeter be withdrawn.
The raid was launched in the hours after billionaire Petro Poroshenko claimed victory in a presidential election Sunday that the pro-Russian rebels have dismissed as illegitimate.
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Ousted ex-leader Yanukovych 'respects' Ukraine vote

Ousted ex-leader Yanukovych 'respects' Ukraine vote

26 May 2014 | 13:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Ukraine's ousted ex-president Viktor Yanukovych said Monday he respected the result of Sunday's presidential polls, in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies, AFP reported.
"It doesn't matter which region it was and what percentage of the population came to vote, whatever choice you made - I respect that choice, made in the most difficult time for our Motherland," Yanukovych said in the statement released in southern Russia where he is in exile, RIA Novosti reported.
At the same time Yanukovych cast doubt on the vote's legitimacy, saying it was necessary for those in the southern and eastern regions to take part, after the election was blocked in pro-Russian separatist regions.
"For the legitimacy of the election and the legitimacy of the president himself, the participation of the south and east of our country is necessary," he said.
He condemned authorities in Kiev who took control after his ouster in February, saying that "many voters in these regions were insulted and humiliated by the actions of the illegitimate authorities who came to power as the result of an armed coup."
The former president, elected in 2010, accused authorities in Kiev of "destroying their own people using grenade launchers, mortar launchers, artillery, armoured personnel carriers and infantry combat vehicles, tanks and military helicopters with missile systems".
"This is madness and it is going unpunished," Yanukovych said.
Yanukovych was ousted after he made a last-minute decision not to sign an association agreement with the European Union that prompted protests in Kiev.
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Poroshenko vows not to let east Ukraine turn into Somalia

Poroshenko vows not to let east Ukraine turn into Somalia

26 May 2014 | 13:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko said Monday he would not let rebel-held east Ukraine become another Somalia as he prepared to take over the presidency with a clear signal from Moscow that it is ready to work with his government, AFP reported.
Poroshenko has moved swiftly to stamp his authority as Ukraine's new leader after claiming victory in Sunday's presidential election, with partial results showing he trounced his rivals in the first round.
He said Ukraine would press on with an offensive to crush the pro-Russian separatists waging an insurgency in the eastern industrial belt, despite Moscow warning it would be a "colossal mistake".
"There are no talks with terrorists," the pro-Western tycoon and veteran politician told reporters.
"Their goal is to turn Donbass (east Ukraine) into Somalia. I will not let anyone do this to our state and I hope that Russia will support my approach."

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Petro Poroshenko backed by 53.72% of Ukrainians as 60.15% of electronic protocols processed

Petro Poroshenko backed by 53.72% of Ukrainians as 60.15% of electronic protocols processed

26 May 2014 | 13:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Some 60.15% of the electronic protocols from the held on Sunday presidential elections in Ukraine were processed, Interfax reported, citing the press centre of the Ukrainian state electoral commission.
According to the results, independent MP Petro Poroshenko was backed by 53.72% of voters, while Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna party and former prime minister, had the support of 13.09% of them.
MP Oleh Lyashko was backed by 8.47% of Ukrainian voters, MP Anatoliy Hrytsenko – by 5.47%, while politician Serhiy Tihipko – by 5.24%.
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Airport in east Ukraine's Donetsk shut after rebel raid

Airport in east Ukraine's Donetsk shut after rebel raid

26 May 2014 | 10:52 | FOCUS News Agency
Donetsk. The main airport in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk shut down on Monday after being raided by dozens of armed separatists who vowed to keep up their resistance a day after presidential polls, AFP reported.
"At 3:00 in the morning, a group of armed men came. There was no shooting and they demanded that soldiers guarding the perimeter of the airport be withdrawn," spokesman Dmytro Kosinov told AFP.
Kosinov said the airport halted operations at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) and now appeared to be under control of gunmen who identified themselves as "representatives of the Donetsk People's Republic" that has proclaimed independence from Kiev.
An AFP reporter saw three trucks full of armed men in camouflage and some wearing orange-and-black St George ribbons representing an allegiance to Russia pass a police checkpoint and head toward the airport.
They were followed by two sports utility vehicles with tinted windows.
Separatists in the heavily-Russified eastern rust belt of the ex-Soviet nation launched an insurgency against Kiev's rule in early April that saw them seize about a dozen cities and towns in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions neighbouring Russia.
The rebels thwarted voting across parts of eastern Ukraine during Sunday's presidential election that pro-Western billionaire Petro Poroshenko was set to win in the first round.
Several rebel commanders said on Sunday they would not recognise the tycoon's legitimacy and would continue their independence fight.
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Tycoon Poroshenko wins Ukraine vote in first round: partial results

Tycoon Poroshenko wins Ukraine vote in first round: partial results

26 May 2014 | 08:43 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Pro-Western billionaire Petro Poroshenko won Ukraine's presidential election in the first round with 54.06 percent of the vote, partial results released Monday by the central elections commission showed, AFP reported.
Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko trailed in distant second with less 13.12 percent of the vote, the election commission said with 37.66 percent of the ballots counted.
Nationalist lawmaker Oleh Lyashko was third with 8.49 percent.
A June 15 runoff between the top two finishers is avoided if any of the candidates breaks the 50-percent threshold.
The central election commission is expected to declare Poroshenko the winner of Sunday's election, which was held despite voting being disrupted in parts of the separatist east, later Monday.
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EU's Barroso calls on pro-EU groups to come together

EU's Barroso calls on pro-EU groups to come together

26 May 2014 | 04:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso called Monday on pro-EU groups to come together, after eurosceptic and radical parties made huge gains in European Parliament elections, AFP reported.
"Standing together as Europeans is indispensible for Europe to shape a global order where we can defend our values and interests," Barroso said, adding that decisive action to provide growth and jobs would be the best answer to current concerns.
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CE Sec-Gen expresses hope that Ukraine's new president will restore peace in the country

CE Sec-Gen expresses hope that Ukraine's new president will restore peace in the country

26 May 2014 | 03:59 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Thorbjoern Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, has expressed hope that Ukraine's new president will restore peace and democracy in the country.
"I believe that the new president will start to act resolutely so as to restore peace and democracy in the country," he said, as cited by Itar Tass.
"An utmost respect for democracy, human rights, and supremacy of law is the only way for the Ukrainian people to ensure their prosperous and peaceful future in their native country", Jagland added.
According to the findings of Ukraine's national exit poll, businessman Petro Poroshenko polled 55.9% of the vote at Ukraine's early presidential elections on Sunday.
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Barekov violates election code in the day of reflection

Barekov violates election code in the day of reflection

26 May 2014 | 03:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Leader of Bulgaria without Censorship Nikolay Barekov violated the Election Code by lobbying for himself in the day of the reflection. He sent SMSs to Vivacom clients on the occasion of 24 May with the test “Happy day of Bulgarian alphabet and Bulgarian spirit! Bulgaria without Censorship wishes you happy holidays!” Vivacom is owned by the major shareholder of the Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) Tsvetan Vasilev, Capital Daily reported.
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UKIP's Farage predicts EU election victory in Britain

UKIP's Farage predicts EU election victory in Britain

26 May 2014 | 02:41 | FOCUS News Agency
London. Nigel Farage, leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP), on Sunday said his party was on course to cause a political "earthquake" as it took the lead in the European parliament election in Britain, AFP reports.
"UKIP is going to win this election and yes that will be an earthquake because never before in the history of British politics has a party seen as an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election," Farage told journalists.
His party, which wants Britain to exit the European Union, led the election in Britain with 12 seats after half of the 12 regions declared results.
The early results put the Conservatives of Prime Minister David Cameron second on nine seats, the main opposition Labour Party on eight seats and the Green Party and Plaid Cymru both on one.
The big early losers were Liberal Democrats, coalition partners in the national government, who were increasingly facing a total election wipeout.
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Bulgaria holds European parliament election (ROUNDUP)

Bulgaria holds European parliament election (ROUNDUP)

26 May 2014 | 00:17 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgaria held European parliament elections on Sunday, May 25.
The polls opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 7 p.m.
Some 6,533,828 people have the right to cast their vote at today’s elections. There were around 60,000 observers accredited for the EU poll. Around 11,500 polling stations have been opened on the territory of the country. 167 polling stations have been opened abroad.
15 parties, 6 coalitions and 3 non-attached candidates competed for the 17 MEP seats.

With the purpose to guarantee uninterrupted and high-quality electricity supply during the European parliament election in Bulgaria on Sunday, May 25, CEZ Bulgaria power distribution company suspended the planned power cuts on the territory of West Bulgaria until May 26, 2014, the press office of the company announced.
The company has secured officers on duty to guarantee the normal power supply at the polling stations on the territory it services.

The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) ordered the election process in Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik and Montana to continue. That is what Kameliya Neykova, spokesperson for CEC announced.
“Given that only six Regional Electoral Commissions have announced the end of election day and have submitted information for smooth electoral process, the CEC ordered in the regions of Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik and Montana to take identification documents of those citizens who are still waiting at the polling stations and to give them the opportunity to exercise their right to vote”, she said. Neykova recalled that under the Election Code when at 7 pm there are citizens in front of the polling station who wish to cast their vote, they should be given this opportunity and Election Day to continue until 8 pm.

The exit poll of Exacta Research Group based on 91% processed protocols:
Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) - 30,7 %
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) – 19,14%
Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF) – 16,8 %
Bulgaria without Censorship – 10,8 %
Reformist Bloc –6,5 %
ABV- 4%
Voter turnout at the European elections in Bulgaria was 35,4%.
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Incumbent Grybauskaite leads Lithuania presidential poll: official

Incumbent Grybauskaite leads Lithuania presidential poll: official

25 May 2014 | 22:44 | FOCUS News Agency
Vilnius. Lithuania's incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite, known as the "Iron Lady", took the lead in a presidential runoff Sunday, outpacing leftist rival Zigmantas Balcytis, partial results showed, AFP reported.
Grybauskaite scored 55.5 percent support against 42.6 for Balcytis with one third of the vote counted amid widespread apprehension in the Baltic state over a resurgent Russia.
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Nikolai Barekov: We achieved a remarkable result

Nikolai Barekov: We achieved a remarkable result

25 May 2014 | 22:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “You made sure that I exist, we achieved a remarkable result of these elections, the leader of the Bulgaria without Censorship Nikolay Barekov told reporters, cited by FOCUS News Agency. "We did not have time to establish all the names in our coalition. We didn’t buy votes. Our money is from donations," Barekov said.
"This is a badly governed country, so I'm in politics to help the Bulgarian citizens," Barekov said.
"I want to thank the people who voted for us," Barekov added.
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Far-right National Front triumphs in French Euro vote

Far-right National Front triumphs in French Euro vote

25 May 2014 | 22:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Paris. The far right National Front topped the polls in elections to the European Parliament in France with a record score of around 25 percent of votes cast, according to exit polls published as ballots closed at 20:00 (1800 GMT), AFP reported.
The result is the highest score ever obtained in a nationwide election by the anti-immigration, anti-EU party led by Marine Le Pen.
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Bulgarian government did a lot of work and I am surprised that people could not see it: Healthcare Minister

Bulgarian government did a lot of work and I am surprised that people could not see it: Healthcare Minister

25 May 2014 | 21:40 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “This government did a lot of work every day and I was surprised that people could not see it,” Healthcare Minister Tanya Andreeva told journalists, cited by FOCUS News Agency . We are waiting to see the final election results; I have not seen the latest results yet. The government was working every day whether it's Saturday or Sunday,” she added.
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There must be early elections in Bulgaria in the autumn: Rumen Petkov

There must be early elections in Bulgaria in the autumn: Rumen Petkov

25 May 2014 | 21:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “Definitely, there must be early elections in the fall”, Rumen Petkov from ABV said for Nova TV. “The Government and Parliament have exhausted all resources,” Petkov added.
“ABV Initiative will announce tomorrow that it becomes a party,” Petkov said.
“ABV is correct political party. Those who gloat most are in knockout.
I have no political ambitions. I want to help with the experience I have. I can no way comment on the outcome of these elections as the end of political career of Georgi Parvanov. On the contrary, he is a man with a sense of responsibility. Parvanov said that he himself will bear the political responsibility,” Rumen Petkov said.
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Petro Poroshenko receives 57.3 % at the presidential elections, Yulia Tymoshenko - 12.4 %, according to exit poll

Petro Poroshenko receives 57.3 % at the presidential elections, Yulia Tymoshenko - 12.4 %, according to exit poll

25 May 2014 | 21:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Petro Poroshenko received 57.3 percent of the votes in the presidential elections in Ukraine, UNN reported, citing data from exit poll carried out by TNS in Ukraine at the order of four Ukrainian televisions - " 1 +1", "ICTV" " INTER" and TRK Ukraine.
Second place in the presidential elections goes to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who received 12.4 percent of the votes, followed by Oleg Lyashko that collected nearly 9 % of the vote. Fourth is Anatoly Grytsenko with 6% of the vote.
The study experts questioned 20,000 respondents in 610 polling stations.
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If Oresharski has courage and morality he will resign this evening: CEDB leader

If Oresharski has courage and morality he will resign this evening: CEDB leader

25 May 2014 | 21:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. I hope Oresharski [Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski] to resign yet this evening”, leader of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) Boyko Borisov told journalists, cited by FOCUS News Agency.
“If he has is a little courage and morality he will step down this evening. I know that Stanishev does not have such qualities”, Borisov said.
“We call for early elections after today’s landslide victory”, CEDB leader Boyko Borisov stated. "Every political party is like a football team. Each team plays alone in the Champions League. If they what they may form a team, but only 11 can participate in the stadium," Borisov said.
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Can you imagine the final tie of the Champions League without the best team participating: CEDB leader

Can you imagine the final tie of the Champions League without the best team participating: CEDB leader

25 May 2014 | 21:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “Can you imagine the final tie of the Champions League without the participation of best football team,” Chairman of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) Boyko Borisov said at a brief conference, a reporter of FOCUS News Agency announced. “The European People’s Party (EPP) won a landslide victory throughout Europe,” he said.
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Bulgarian people showed that CEDB should be in the government: CEDB leader

Bulgarian people showed that CEDB should be in the government: CEDB leader

25 May 2014 | 21:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “Bulgarian people showed that Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) should be in government,” Chairman of CEDB Boyko Borisov said at a briefing of the party, a reporter of FOCUS News Agency announced.
“I want to thank the Bulgarian people and God that they once again estimated everything we did, the potential of CEDB members and its experts. According to results and comments announced in the media by the moment, there is a winner and it's CEDB. I congratulate Barekov with the result his party achieved. Once again CEDB defeated the centenarian party [Bulgarian Socialist Party], defeated the leader of the Party of European Socialists - Stanishev [BSP leader Sergey Stanichev].
After these elections results, Oresharski Cabinet must resign,” Boyko Borizov stated.
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Poroshenko says mission as Ukraine president to 'bring peace'

Poroshenko says mission as Ukraine president to 'bring peace'

25 May 2014 | 20:56 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukrainian billionaire Petro Poroshenko said Sunday that his first mission as president would be to "end war and bring peace" to the country after exit polls showed him winning the presidential election, AFP reported.
He also said his first trip would be to the east of the country, in the grip of a deadly insurgency by pro-Moscow rebels.

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Flemish nationalist N-VA leads Belgium general election: partial results

Flemish nationalist N-VA leads Belgium general election: partial results

25 May 2014 | 20:55 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. The Flemish N-VA party led by Bart De Wever, who champions separation from the rest of Belgium, has taken the lead in Sunday's general election, partial results showed.
De Wever's New Flemish Alliance had 32-34 percent of the vote in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking north of the country, while Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo's Socialists had about 30 percent in the French-speaking south, according to estimates based on results from a quarter of the polling booths.
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Tycoon Poroshenko wins Ukraine vote in first round: exit poll

Tycoon Poroshenko wins Ukraine vote in first round: exit poll

25 May 2014 | 20:27 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Pro-Western billionaire Petro Poroshenko won Ukraine's presidential election in the first round Sunday with nearly 56 percent of the vote, an exit poll said, cited by AFP.
Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko trailed in distant second with less than 13 percent of the vote, according to the joint National Exit Poll study, which had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
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EU voter turnout better than expected so far

EU voter turnout better than expected so far

25 May 2014 | 20:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. Voter turnout in European Parliament elections, which plunged to record lows in 2009, appeared to have improved Sunday despite increased eurosceptic sentiment, AFP reported.
In France, where Marine Le Pen's anti-EU National Front could emerge as the single largest group, official figures put the turnout at just over 35 percent by mid-afternoon.
That compared with some 33 percent at the same point in 2009, when the final French participation rate was a poor 40.6 percent, below the European Union average of 43 percent.
In Germany, which elects 96 MEPs, the most in the bloc, voter turnout by early afternoon was 25.6 percent, up from 20.2 percent and compared with its final turnout level of 43.3 percent.
Portugal was slightly higher while newcomer Croatia was doing much better, but the Czech Republic which voted Friday and Saturday, appeared to have fallen well short of its 2009 turnout of some 28 percent, with the CTK news agency putting it on about 20 percent.
Despite generally pro-EU governments in eastern Europe where many former communist states joined the bloc in 2004, turnout rates have been low, some of them such as Slovakia on just 19.6 percent.
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Merkel conservatives on course for victory in European elections: exit polls

Merkel conservatives on course for victory in European elections: exit polls

25 May 2014 | 20:22 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives were on course for major victory in European Parliament elections on Sunday, despite gains for the centre-left Social Democrats and the rise of a new anti-euro party, exit polls showed, AFP reported.
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the CSU -- who won a landslide victory at the national level last September -- between them scored 36 percent, down from 37.9 percent in the 2009 European parliament vote, the polls showed.
Their new governing partners in a 'grand coalition', the Social Democrats (SPD), scored 27.5 percent, a strong gain from the last EU vote in 2009 when they won 20.8 percent, public broadcasters ARD and ZDF estimated.
Since teaming up with Merkel, the party has pushed social reforms including a national minimum wage in Germany. It also boasted among its ranks the European candidate for European Commission president, Martin Schulz.
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Voter turnout in presidential elections in Ukraine is now 38.53%

Voter turnout in presidential elections in Ukraine is now 38.53%

25 May 2014 | 17:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Voter turnout in the presidential elections in Ukraine was 38.53% by 3 pm local time, RIA Novosti reported, citing data from the Central Electoral Commission of the Eastern European country.
The biggest voter turnout was registered in Lviv Oblast, 52.15%, and the lowest in-Kharkiv-24.05%.
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Anti-president poll protest in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

Anti-president poll protest in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

25 May 2014 | 14:03 | FOCUS News Agency
Kharkiv. Supporters of the federalisation of Ukraine are staging a protest in the central part of the city of Kharkiv during the presidential elections held in the crisis-stricken country on Sunday.
Correspondent of Comments.ua announced that the demonstrators called the elections illegitimates.
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Medvedev estimates probability of pessimistic economic development scenario at 2-3%

Medvedev estimates probability of pessimistic economic development scenario at 2-3%

21 May 2014 | 04:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in an interview published in Komsomolskaya Pravda Wednesday, has estimated the probability of a pessimistic economic development scenario at two to three percent.
In response to question as to which economic development scenario is worth expecting soon, Medvedev said that there exist two scenarios. "The first one is moderately optimistic. When the economy manifests now a slight upturn and now a slight downturn, ordinary citizens do not feel that, usually". The second scenario is, in his view, "a bad one imposed on us by the West", Itar Tass reported. However, the Premier assured the readers, the government, in that case as well, will continue undeviatingly to fulfil all social obligations it assumed. "My estimate is that 2-3%, not more," Medvedev said, referring to the probability of such a scenario.
"However, that would be a tough scenario and, if it arises, we shall, certainly, have to respond to it as well. If so, many forms of interstate cooperation, to which we have already got accustomed, may just disappear," the Head of Government said in conclusion.
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Russia, China move closer, pursue policy independent of US: Itar Tass

Russia, China move closer, pursue policy independent of US: Itar Tass

21 May 2014 | 02:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China will show historic results and will provide new evidence of the countries’ rapprochement, said Andrei Kokoshin, the dean of the Faculty of World Politics of the Moscow State University and a former Secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council.
This visit “will undoubtedly lead to new great results in the Russian-Chinese relations,” he said, as cited by Itar Tass.
The academician noted that the two countries’ positions had moved closer on most vitally important problems of world politics and world economy.
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Russia would veto UN Council vote on Syria

Russia would veto UN Council vote on Syria

20 May 2014 | 22:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russia would veto a draft United Nations Security Council calling for Syria to be hauled before the International Criminal Court, deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said Tuesday, cited by AFP.
"The draft resolution that is currently submitted to the Security Council for us is unacceptable and we will not support it. If it is put to a vote, we will veto it," Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.
Gatilov called the resolution drafted by France and expected to be put to the vote on Thursday "intentionally politicised."
Russia was already widely expected to veto the measure along with China as they have vetoed three previous Western resolutions since the start of the Syrian crisis three years ago.
Gatilov said that Russia opposes Syria going before the International Criminal Court "since we consider that this is counterproductive in the current situation."
He said that he believed the real aim behind the draft resolution was to gain permission for the use of force in Syria under Chapter Seven of the UN charter.
"The main plan is to get a Security Council resolution passed on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter as a basis for future use of force in Damascus," Gatilov said.
Russia is a long-term ally of Syria and has backed the regime of President Bashir al-Assad throughout the conflict.
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Ukraine offers Europe to purchase Russian natural gas at the Russian-Ukraine border

Ukraine offers Europe to purchase Russian natural gas at the Russian-Ukraine border

20 May 2014 | 19:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine offered Europe to purchase Russian natural gas at the Russian-Ukraine border and to sign new agreements with Gazprom. That is what press center of the Ukrainian government announced, citing a statement of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, UNIAN announced.
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Crimea's Tatars considering their own referendum

Crimea's Tatars considering their own referendum

3 April 2014 | 09:50 | FOCUS News Agency
Simferopol. Crimea's Tatars are considering the possibility of a vote on increased autonomy, a local leader has said, a move likely to deepen the crisis on the Russian-controlled peninsula, AFP reported.
The minority group's assembly, known as the Mejlis, has created a special group to look into the possibility of holding a "referendum within one ethnic group", said its leader Refat Chubarov in a statement released late on Tuesday.
"We are now trying to find international precedents and international organisations which can help us in that," Chubarov said in the statement.
Representatives of the Turkish-speaking Muslim group - who number around 300,000 in a total population of 2 million Crimeans - are expected to convene before April 15 to consider the issue.
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Leaders of Crimean Tatars: Referendum absurd and cynical

Leaders of Crimean Tatars: Referendum absurd and cynical

1 April 2014 | 07:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Simferopol. One of the leaders of the Crimean Tatars, Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemilev, delivered a speech during an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, called at Ukraine and Lithuania’s initiative, UNIAN reported.
Dzhemilev called the referendum in Crimea “absurd and cynical”.
In his words, the voter turnout at the referendum was not 82%, as claimed by the Russian authorities, but only 32%.
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Students in Crimea to follow Russian education curriculum as of September 1

Students in Crimea to follow Russian education curriculum as of September 1

31 March 2014 | 22:44 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Some 200,000 students in Crimea will start to follow the Russian education curriculum as of September 1, UNN reported, citing Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev.
He explained the necessary Russian textbooks would be delivered to Crimean schools and teachers would be able to prepare [for the new things] in the summer.
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Russian PM Medvedev visits Crimea: reports

Russian PM Medvedev visits Crimea: reports

31 March 2014 | 10:57 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday visited Crimea, the first Russian leader to travel to the Black Sea region after Moscow seized it from Ukraine, news agency reports said, AFP reported.
Medvedev arrived in Crimea's main city Simferopol at the head of a major Russian delegation of ministers and deputy prime ministers and was set to chair a meeting over the social and economic development of Crimea after its incorporation into Russia, the reports said.
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Kerry, Lavrov fail to reach Ukraine deal

Kerry, Lavrov fail to reach Ukraine deal

31 March 2014 | 04:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Paris. The United States and Russia failed Sunday to reach a deal on Ukraine after talks in Paris, with US Secretary of State John Kerry calling on Moscow to pull back its forces, AFP reports.
The latest bid to resolve the worst East-West standoff in the post-Cold War era came after Russian leader Vladimir Putin unexpectedly called US President Barack Obama on Friday asking to pursue a diplomatic solution.
Washington and its allies have imposed stinging sanctions on Moscow after it annexed Crimea and massed thousands of troops on the borders of eastern Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the talks with his US counterpart Kerry in the French capital had been "constructive" and would continue.
After four hours of hastily arranged discussions, Lavrov said the two parties had presented their plans for a de-escalation of the crisis but failed to agree on what had caused it, reiterating Russia's belief that federalism in Ukraine would be key to finding a solution.
Kerry urged Russia to pull back its forces from the borders of Ukraine, and said any talks on the country's future must include Kiev's leaders.
"We will not accept a path forward where the legitimate government of Ukraine is not at the table. This principle is clear. No decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine," Kerry told reporters after the talks.
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Kerry meets Lavrov for Paris talks on Ukraine

Kerry meets Lavrov for Paris talks on Ukraine

30 March 2014 | 20:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Paris. US Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Sunday for talks aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Ukraine, AFP reported.
Kerry was welcomed at the Russian ambassador's residence in Paris by Lavrov and the two men posed for a photograph before starting a meeting on a plan to ease the worse East-West standoff since the end of the Cold War. "Thank you everybody," Kerry said, while Lavrov added in English: "Good luck, and good night."
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Dialogue with Merkel amidst Ukrainian crisis “worth its weight in gold”

Dialogue with Merkel amidst Ukrainian crisis “worth its weight in gold”

30 March 2014 | 19:40 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. Contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a situation like the crisis around Ukraine are “worth their weight in gold,” Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday in an interview with Germany’s public-service television broadcaster ZDF, ITAR-TASS reported.
“Merkel’s role is rather big, taking into account the constructive and rather open relations with Vladimir Putin,” he said. “Since the very beginning of the crisis, the two [leaders\ have been maintaining constant dialogue, and such frequent contacts make it possible at least to bring their positions closer. In such acute situation, such contacts are worth their weight in gold. It is a secret to no one that the positions on the Ukrainian crisis are different but the dialogue is extremely useful and we hope this dialogue will be continued.”
Peskov characterized this dialogue as “constructive on the one hand, but rather difficult on the other hand.” Interaction between state figures, in his words, stems from the interests of their countries, since each of them seeks to defend the positions of his or her state.
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Crimea’s banking system to return to normal operations Monday

Crimea’s banking system to return to normal operations Monday

30 March 2014 | 13:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Simferopol. Crimea’s banking system will resume normal operations on Monday, March 31, UNN reported, citing Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov.
A number of Ukrainian banks stopped work in March at the initiative of the management of the financial institutions.
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Crimean Tatars approach international organizations with request for help

Crimean Tatars approach international organizations with request for help

29 March 2014 | 20:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Bahchisarai. Kurultayi (national self-governing body) of Crimean Tatars has turned to the international organizations with a request to back the right of their people, ITAR-TASS reported.
“Kurultayi of Crimean-Tatar people calls to the UN, Council of Europe, EU, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and parliaments and governments of states with an appeal to support the right of Crimean-Tatar people of self-determination within the form of the national-territorial autonomy of the Crimean-Tatar people and their historical territory in Crime,” a statement of the Crimean Kurultayi reads.
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Crimea to switch to Moscow Time tonight

Crimea to switch to Moscow Time tonight

29 March 2014 | 13:07 | FOCUS News Agency
Simferopol. Crimea will officially switch to Moscow Time at a ceremony at the square in front of the railway station in the city of Simferopol, ITAR-TASS reported.
The event will start at 10 pm local time [EET] when the clock at the square will be moved, C-inform.info reported, citing the press service of the Council of Ministers of Crimea.
Thus midnight is to strike in Moscow and on the peninsula at the same time.

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Annexation of Crimea 'not a done deal,' Obama says

Annexation of Crimea 'not a done deal,' Obama says

28 March 2014 | 04:47 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. President Obama said Tuesday that the world is prepared to strengthen sanctions against Russia, which he described as a "regional power" making trouble with its neighbors.
Speaking at the Hague, Netherlands, where he is attending a summit on international security, Obama said the West will not recognize Russia's illegal attempt to annex Crimea.
He insisted that Russia's military takeover of the Ukrainian province could be reversed.
"It is not a done deal," Obama said at a news conference.
Obama said, as cited by USA Today, there would be no military action by the West to dislodge Russia's troops, but more sanctions could be imposed beside those in place that target individuals in the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We're not recognizing what is happening in Crimea," Obama said. He rejected "the notion that a referendum sloppily organized over the course of two weeks" would "somehow be a valid process."
Asked whether he agreed with Mitt Romney's assessment that Russia is the United States' top geopolitical foe, Obama said he is more concerned about a nuclear bomb in Manhattan than he is about Russia.
"Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness," he said.
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Almost 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine: Kiev official

Almost 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine: Kiev official

27 March 2014 | 16:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. Nearly 100,000 Russian forces have massed on Ukraine's border, a top Ukrainian defense official said Thursday, but US military officers say the troop number is far lower, AFP reported.
"Almost 100,000 soldiers are stationed on the borders of Ukraine and in the direction ....of Kharkiv, Donetsk, " Andriy Parubiy, chairman of Ukraine's national security council, said via a webcast from Kiev.
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IMF extends USD 14-18 bn rescue to Ukraine, tied to reforms

IMF extends USD 14-18 bn rescue to Ukraine, tied to reforms

27 March 2014 | 12:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. The IMF announced on Thursday a $14-$18 billion bailout for Ukraine to avoid bankruptcy but tied to painful and unpopular reforms amid the country's escalating standoff with Russia, AFP reported.
The agreement in principle - worth the equivalent of 10.8-13.1 billion euros - imposes tough economic conditions on the crisis-hit country.
The reforms already outlined will have a huge impact on millions of Ukrainians who have grown accustomed to the comforts of Soviet-era subsidies and social welfare benefits.
But the agreement appears to herald a fundamental shift in Kiev from attempts to save a crumbling and outdated system through Russian assistance, to a commitment to the types of free-market efficiencies which could one day bring Ukraine far closer to the West.

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Ukraine’s state debt tops UAH 800 bln

Ukraine’s state debt tops UAH 800 bln

27 March 2014 | 12:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine’s state debt has loomed to more than UAH 800 billion and makes 52% of the gross domestic product (GDP), Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced, as cited by UNIAN.
In his words, since January 1, 2013 the currency reserve has decreased by 20 billion and is no estimated at USD 15 billion.
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Ukraine on the brink of default: PM

Ukraine on the brink of default: PM

27 March 2014 | 11:20 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine’s total fiscal deficit amounts to UAH 289 billion. This is what Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced in a statement before the Verkhovna Rada on the current economic state of the country, Ukrainian news edition Comments reported.
“The country is on the brink of economic and financial bankruptcy,” the Prime Minister said.
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Oleksandr Turchynov: EU support gives hopes for Crimea annexation failure

Oleksandr Turchynov: EU support gives hopes for Crimea annexation failure

27 March 2014 | 10:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. European Union (EU)’s support for Ukraine gives grounds to hope that the policy on annexation of Crimea to the territory of Russia will fail. This is what Ukraine’s interim President Oleksandr Turchynov thinks, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
Turchynov said further that Ukraine would never recognise Russia’s attempts to conquer Crimea.
The interim president also remarked that despite all Russian provocations, Ukraine’s progress towards the EU could not be stopped.
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Over 30 Ukrainian ships to enter Russian navy service after inspection

Over 30 Ukrainian ships to enter Russian navy service after inspection

27 March 2014 | 09:42 | FOCUS News Agency
Sevastopol/Moscow. More than 30 warships and service vessels used in the Ukrainian Navy will become part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet after they are inspected, a source in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Headquarters said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.
“Ships that were sailing previously under the Ukrainian flag will not be automatically included in the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet until they have undergone technical inspections and we can define which ships will enter the fleet, and which ones will be scrapped,” the source said.
He said the ships’ technical readiness would be completed by specialists from Russia’s Navy and shipyards from the Black Sea Fleet.
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Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine.
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