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Germany: important that Ukraine election results recognized, Russia hasn't chosen isolation

Germany's foreign minister is stressing the importance of Ukraine's presidential election results being recognized by all and says he doesn't believe Russia has chosen to isolate itself internationally.

The West has threatened wider sanctions against Russia if Moscow derails Sunday's vote, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday that all concerned should have an interest in the election being as fair as possible. He acknowledged that "might not be possible in some towns."

Steinmeier says that after "a certain slowdown" in violence over the past nine days, he hopes the conflict won't escalate again because of the election's legitimacy being disputed "wantonly."

He says: "I hope I am right, and I assume this, that there has been no fundamental Russian decision to isolate itself completely in foreign-policy terms."