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MOSCOW, May 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is discouraged by the reaction to Switzerland’s settlement plan from the Kiev authorities who have made it clear that they have their own roadmap for resolving the crisis in the country and that they will continue the “counter-terrorism” operation in the South-East, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, May 8.
“The Foreign Ministry of Russia has received detailed proposals of the Swiss OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Chairmanship concerning the contents of the roadmap for the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. With all the compromises contained in this unofficial document, it reflects, as the initial review shows, a number of crucial proposals which were discussed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in Moscow on May 7 and which are aimed at ensuring practical implementation of the Geneva accords of April 17,” the ministry said.
It stressed the importance of proposals to engage the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in the efforts to free political prisoners, amnesty protesters and coordinate the succession of actions to disarm illegal armed groups and ensure normal life in cities and other populated localities.
“We attach special significance to balanced ideas concerning concrete forms of organising a genuinely national dialogue on constitutional reform between the Kiev authorities, other political forces and regions of Ukraine with the OSCE mediation and the support of Russia, the EU and the United States,” the ministry said.
“We are convinced that if the coalition elected by the Verkhovna Rada [parliament of Ukraine] realises its responsibility and assumes a constructive position in favour of a truly respectful and equal dialogue with the South-East of Ukraine, the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship’s initiative to facilitate a nationwide dialogue will have chances of success,” the ministry said.
“Unfortunately, unlike the generally positive comments from European capitals, the first reaction of ‘official Kiev’ is discouraging: it made it clear that it does not approve of contacts between the OSCE and Russia and that the present [Ukrainian] authorities have their own roadmap. But the most disturbing thing is that the leadership of the National Security Council of Ukraine has stated peremptorily that the ‘counter-terrorism operation’ in the South-East will continue no matter what,” the ministry said.
It stressed that “this position “runs counter to the underlying principle of the Geneva Statement which calls for stopping the use of force”.
“The unwillingness to listen to the international community may undermine the OSCE Chairmanship’s efforts as it is quite unlikely that the protesters in the South-East of Ukraine will cooperate with the regime that has declared all of them terrorists and used the army against them. This is why stopping the violence in the South-East of Ukraine must become the main priority for the OSCE, primarily in terms of preventing the use of the army and disarming extremist groups such as the Right Sector as was stated in the agreement of February 21 signed in the presence of EU ministers. Otherwise, those who organised the bloodbath in Odessa will decide that they are allowed to do anything they want,” the ministry said. Russia is ready to work honestly towards compromises on Ukraine, but Western partners should do their share of the job, too, the ministry said.
“Russia is ready to travel its part of the way honestly and consistently looking for compromises on external assistance to the resolution of the internal conflict in Ukraine,” the ministry said.
“But our Western partners should also fulfil their obligations and ensure that the Kiev authorities stop focusing entirely on attempts to legitimise themselves and start talking with their opponents about how to overcome the deepest Ukrainian statehood crisis on the basis that would be acceptable to all parts of the country,” the ministry said.