May 24 - Russian President Vladimir Putin tells the media that he will respect the outcome of Ukraine's election and hopes to avoid a new cold war. Nathan Frandino reports.
With an election looming in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is eager to move forward on diplomacy. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "We will unconditionally respect the choice of the Ukrainian people and will work with the authorities that are being formed based on this election." At a meeting with international media executives in St. Petersburg, Putin opened up about the conflict, including the ouster of his ally, Viktor Yanukovich. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Take the Ukrainian Constitution. Read it. It's written there that there are four legal ways to remove an acting president from power: death, inability to perform duties based on health conditions, impeachment - and there was no impeachment that the constitution allows, and personal resignation, which the president must personally address to the parliament. So we either follow the constitutional norms or say they don't matter." Russia has since annexed Crimea and pro-Russian separatists remain in control in much of Ukraine's east. Relations between Moscow and the West have reached the lowest level since the Cold War -- a level Putin hopes will not get any lower. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "I wouldn't like to think that this is the beginning of a new cold war. No one is interested in that, and I think it will not happen." Russia is currently under sanctions from the West for Crimea and faces more if Moscow impedes Sunday's ballot.