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NOVO-OGAREVO, April 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will attend a quadripartite meeting on Ukraine with the United States, the European Union and the Ukrainian authorities only if it helps Kiev foster contacts with all political and regional forces inside the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“We want to understand the purpose of convening this meeting,” the minister said on Wednesday, April 9. “This is an internal Ukrainian crisis, and those who are holding the reins of power in Kiev now must invite all regions, all political forces to start a dialogue on the constitution, on the language and all other aspects.”
“If this meeting focuses on urging the Ukrainian authorities not to wait for the south-eastern regions to boil over, as is the case now, and on urging them to talk with these regions, we will join this call,” Lavrov said.
“But if they: ‘take your seats at the table and give them cheap gas’, this is probably senseless,” he said.
Sergei Lavrov also noted that Russia is ready for dialogue with Ukraine on the price of gas.
He recalled parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s remarks that the Ukrainian budget was based on the price of $485 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. “Now they are saying that they won’t pay until we agree to the price they want,” the minister said, adding that there were more questions in relations with Ukraine than there were answers.
“But we are always ready for dialogue,” he concluded.
Lavrov said Russia had so far received no reply to its inquiries, including those concerning rumours that Kiev is planning to sell ballistic missile technologies. “We asked the Americans what they think about this. They keep silent,” the minister said.
Another inquiry that remains unanswered was about reports claiming that personnel of the private American security company Greystone had been deployed in Ukraine. “They say: we see no reason for this to be true. What a strange answer. Why don’t you simply say: there is none of them there?” Lavrov said, adding that there were also other inquiries that had not been answered by the US authorities.
Lavrov recalled that the new Ukrainian authorities had not visited the southern and south-eastern regions of the country even once since February 22 when they took power in Kiev. “They say: there is the Party of Regions and there are communists in the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] and that’s enough. But it’s not so because many regions think that those who sit in the Verkhovna Rada do not represent their interests,” he said.
The minister said he did not know where the meeting could take place. “We want to understand the purpose of convening this meeting,” he said.
In discussing ways to resolve the Ukrainian crisis some time ago, Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry did not rule out a quadripartite meeting between Ukrainian, Russian, EU and US officials.