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Russian Duma speaker: crisis in Ukraine impossible to overcome without federalization

April 02, 2014, 23:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 02  /ITAR-TASS/. The chairman of the lower house of Russia’s parliament said Wednesday that the current crisis in Ukraine cannot be overcome without establishing a federative state and expressed regret at displays of nationalism and rights violations in the country.

“We see manifestations of radical nationalism, violation of citizens’ rights and freedoms, political persecution of political rivals in Ukraine,” State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said at a solemn ceremony dedicated to the Day of Unity of the Russian and Belarusian peoples in the Russian Army Theater in downtown Moscow.

Naryshkin stressed the mutual urge for integration between Russia and Belarus and underlined that the same feeling “has always been strong in brotherly Ukraine”. He lamented that Ukraine is “in a deep political crisis” and added that society and the government are split in the country.

The lawmaker said he is convinced that “the Ukrainian people will find the powers to overcome these temporary difficulties, and no one will be able to set our nations at loggerheads”. He also said he hopes the peoples of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will always be able to listen to each other.

Naryshkin recalled that Russia and Belarus started building their union state 18 years ago, in 1996, when the two countries’ then leaders signed an agreement on the community of Russia and Belarus. Later, the countries established a union state.

The political and economic situation in Ukraine is far from stable following a coup that occurred in the country in February after violent anti-government protests, which started in November 2013 when the country suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Security concerns caused President Viktor Yanukovich to leave Ukraine. Amid riots, new people were brought to power in Kiev.

The crisis deepened when the Republic of Crimea held a referendum in which most of its residents decided for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. A relevant deal with Moscow was signed on March 18.

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