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Yanukovich’s adviser confirms Russian ombudsman Lukin mediates talks

February 21, 2014, 10:44 UTC+3 KIEV
Yanukovich is now meeting with opposition leaders
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 Vladimir Lukin

Vladimir Lukin

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

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KIEV, February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin is taking part in the talks now underway in the presidential administration in Kiev, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s adviser and MP Anna German told ITAR-TASS on Friday, February 21.

“Yes, he (Lukin) is taking part in the talks today,” she said.

Yanukovich is now meeting with opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Polish colleague Radoslaw Sikorski. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also took part in the negotiations but left Kiev earlier this night as he is due to go on a scheduled visit to China.

German believes that this meeting “has every chance to lead to a compromise that will settle the situation in Ukraine.”

“We can say that this day in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) may become a day of consensus and understanding between the authorities and the opposition on how to achieve a peaceful settlement,” the adviser said.

The parliament will convene on Friday to discuss a restoration of the Constitution of 2004, which limits presidential power and gives more rights to parliament, as well as the possibility of creating an interim government in the country.

On Ukraine’s initiative, on Thursday, February 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Yanukovich who suggested that the Russian president send a representative to Kiev to act as a mediator in negotiations with the opposition.

Putin decided to entrust this mission to the Lukin, who has extensive experience of diplomatic service, enjoys the respect of human rights activists and used to head a major opposition party.

The Russian president also had telephone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, during which he informed that Lukin would fly to Kiev as a mediator.

“The parties expressed great concern over the current spike in tension in Ukraine due to the actions by the opposition’s radical wing. Vladimir Putin stressed that it is extremely important to cease any bloodshed and take urgent measures to help stabilize the situation in the country and prevent any extremist or terrorist raids,” the presidential press service said.

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