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Russian experts say Kiev not implementing Geneva deals to de-escalate Ukrainian crisis

April 21, 2014, 20:02 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Three days since the signing of the Geneva Statement adopted at Thursday’s four-party meeting on the settlement in Ukraine, Kiev authorities already doubt the agreements reached and blatantly violate them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

At the most well-known European diplomatic site, heads of foreign policy departments of Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine compiled a communiqué on April 17 in line with which all illegal armed units in Ukraine should be disarmed. All seized buildings in all regions of the country should be vacated and all protesters except for those who committed serious crimes should be pardoned.

Then a constitutional reform should follow with extensive participation of the country’s nationals. The leading role in conflict de-escalation is laid upon the mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe already working in Ukraine.

On Easter night (April 20), attackers riding in four SUVs of Ukraine’s National Guard currently being formed, which includes militants from the Right Sector far-right ultranationalist organization, opened fire on a checkpoint of militiamen near the city of Slavyansk in the country’s Southeast. Some civilians were reported to have been killed and injured.

Official Kiev’s reports on weapons surrendered by the Right Sector only feature 21 boxes with Molotov cocktails.

The Ukrainian authorities want administrative buildings in the southeast to be vacated, but they have refused to clear state institutions in the western and central regions, as well as in Kiev, of their supporters.

There is a similar situation with amnesty of protesters. Kiev refuses to pardon people’s governor of the Donetsk Region Pavel Gubarev, who was arrested on charges of separatism. Konstantin Dolgov, a coordinator of the protest movement, was detained in the city of Kharkov after the Geneva deals were made public.

Examples of double standards in interpretation of the Geneva agreement give grounds to experts polled by the ITAR-TASS Political Analysis Center to doubt that official Kiev will strictly follow the letter and spirit of the four-party agreements.

“I don’t rule out that the United States, just as EU representatives, will quietly tell Kiev that we signed the document and you are allowed to not fulfill its requirements,” political scientist Vladimir Zharikhin says.

“It is not by coincidence that the United States is not seen involved in activity to observe the implementation of the Geneva deals,” the expert says.

“As regards the observance of the agreement’s clauses, there are no prerequisites for it now,” believes Vladislav Belov, the head of the German Studies Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Europe.

“The United States and the European Union are not ready to ensure the external situation around their partners in Ukraine that would prompt them to implement the agreements. The Kiev authorities are unable to disarm the Right Sector, they have to take into account the political situation ahead of the May 25 presidential elections,” he says.

“The Geneva agreements are not being implemented in Ukraine. The next day after their publication, Ukrainian [parliament-appointed] premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that Ukraine’s Southeast should be disarmed, adding that the demand does not spread to Kiev, the country’s center and west. There is an impression that Kiev believes that the Geneva communiqué is only meant for its opponents in the Southeast,” CIS Countries Institute Director Konstantin Zatulin believes.

“Meanwhile, Ukraine’s protesting Southeast is convinced that self-defense units can’t be disbanded now. After militants attacked the checkpoint in Slavyansk and people were killed there, after continuing arrests of protest movement coordinators, the militiamen are convinced that they do not have the right to go home and betray the population of their regions,” the expert told ITAR-TASS.

Among positive aspects, Zatulin mentioned the statement of a spokesman for the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine that there are no Russian instructors or Russian troops in Ukraine’s southeastern regions.

“There is no implementation of the Geneva agreements in Ukraine, as the four-party communiqué contains no mechanism of their implementation. In essence, it is a declaration that does not say who takes responsibility for disarmament of armed formations, for the vacating of buildings, who will address all that,” Fyodor Lukyanov, the chairman of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, told ITAR-TASS in an interview.

“The Geneva agreements are the first step toward de-escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, which should be followed by other rounds of negotiations. Otherwise, the document will remain an amorphous declaration, and events in Ukraine will keep developing in line with their logic,” Lukyanov concluded.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted today that the Geneva agreements on Ukraine do not contain any deadlines for their implementation.

“The main thing is to prevent any violence now. This is the first clause of the Geneva agreement, the first demand for all who are opposing each other in Ukraine now. But in this, like in other issues, the Geneva agreement is not being implemented; on the contrary, steps are being made, first of all by those who seized the power in Kiev, which grossly violate the agreements reached in Geneva,” the minister stressed.


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