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Russia initiates Ukraine support group to overcome crisis

March 17, 2014, 15:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The crisis incited polarization of the society and the sharp aggravation of disagreements between different areas of the country, Russia's Foreign Ministry noted

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Russian Foreign Ministry building

Russian Foreign Ministry building

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, March 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has initiated a Ukraine support group, which will be acceptable for all Ukrainian political forces.

“The current situation in Ukraine is conditioned on the deep crisis in the state. The crisis incited polarization of the society and the sharp aggravation of disagreements between different areas of the country,” the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Monday.

“Thus, we prepared proposals and gave them to the US and European partners to make external contribution to the steps, which should taken by Ukrainians themselves to overcome the crisis,” the ministry said. “We proposed to set up a Ukraine support group due to be acceptable to all Ukrainian political forces.”

“Participants in the support group would oblige to be guided by the principles of respecting the interests of the multinational Ukrainian people, backing Ukrainians’ strive for living in safety in compliance with their customs and traditions, freely speaking the native language and maintaining broad relations with compatriots and neighbors,” the ministry said.

Among the principles Russia “named the inadmissibility of restoring neo-Nazi ideology; the need for Ukrainian politicians to dissociate themselves from ultranationalists and stop their attempts to destabilize the situation in different regions; the recognition of civil peace and national accord in Ukraine in order to promote constructive relations in the Euro-Atlantic region on the basis of equality and mutual interests of all states”, the ministry said.


Main tasks of support group

Russia thinks that the support group should “convince Ukrainians to implement the following priorities - to fulfil obligations under the Agreement on the Settlement of the Crisis in Ukraine of February 21, 2014; to confiscate illegal weapons; to free seized buildings, streets and squares; and to organize an objective investigation of acts of violence committed between December 2013 and February 2014; and to immediately convene a constitutional assembly with the involvement of all Ukrainian regions in order to prepare a new constitution," the ministry said.

The new constitution should record the principles of the supremacy of law, the protection of human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities. It should ensure the freedom of speech and mass media, and other principles under which Ukraine will be considered a sovereign democratic federative state with neutral military-political status, the ministry said.

The Russian language should be given a status of a second state language. Other languages should be used in Ukraine under the European Convention on Regional and Minority Languages.

Regions will elect legislative and executive bodies of power and have broad powers in the economy and finances, social welfare, language, education, external inter-regional relations and rights of ethnic minorities.

It will be banned from interfering into the church’s affairs and in inter-confessional relations, the ministry said.

“A decision to approve a draft constitution will be taken by accord of all participants. The draft constitution will be submitted to a nationwide referendum,” the ministry said.

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