KIEV, Ukraine, April 14 (UPI) -- Ukrainian acting President and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov addressed parliament Monday regarding unrest in eastern Ukraine.
He expressed optimism that a national referendum on Ukraine's state system would show that the majority desire unification rather than secession.
The president's comment comes as pro-Russian militants have fomented unrest in eastern Ukraine, seizing control of government administration buildings and demanding referendums to determine local regions' country affiliation -- similar to the referendum held in Crimea in March that led to Russia's claimed annexation.
"I am confident that the vast majority of Ukrainians in this referendum, which, if the parliament makes a respective decision, could be held simultaneously with the presidential elections, will vote for an indivisible, independent, democratic and unitary Ukraine," the Ukrainian president stated Monday.
Ukraine's presidential elections are scheduled for May 25.
[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]