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Lavrov: Moscow ready for dialogue with Poroshenko, but no mediators needed

May 26, 2014, 13:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Moscow hopes Ukrainian authorities comply with OSCE roadmap, the minister said

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Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, May 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow is ready for dialogue with Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko, but no mediators are necessary. Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said this in a statement on Monday.

“We are ready to cooperate with the EU and USA regarding assistance in fulfilling the roadmap,” the minister said. “However, what concerns relations with Ukraine, I doubt that any mediator is needed.”

Lavrov stated that there is undoubtedly no need to make Mikheil Saakashvili a mediator in the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, commenting on a statement by UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko, who said earlier that the ex-president of Georgia might join the team of Petro Poroshenko as a presidential advisor.

Russia has noted Petro Poroshenko’s statement that he “will pay his first visit to Donbass (the main Ukrainian coalmining region) if he is elected president,” Russian foreign minister said on Monday. Lavrov also noted that Moscow “invariably calls for establishing a real dialogue” with Ukraine.

“Today we can say that the election campaign was not flawless, and far from all nominees managed to get to the finish line,” the Russian minister noted.

According to Lavrov, Moscow hopes Ukrainian authorities will fulfill the OSCE roadmap. He urged the Ukrainian authorities to provide for seeking compromises for the regions.

Moscow is interested not in declarations made by Petro Poroshenko, but in his real deeds, Lavrov noted.

“We hope that Petro Poroshenko, if his powers are confirmed, will do everything to prevent the prevalence of some extremist radical moods in Kiev towards the east, south-east of Ukraine and towards any other region of the country,” Lavrov said. 

“He (Poroshenko) also said that there should be no illegal armed groups anywhere in Ukraine - in the south, in the east or in any other regions,” the foreign minister said. “It will be important to understand how the commitment to this goal will be put in practice, in particular, as regards the Right Sector, the so-called Dnieper battalion, other similar structures with very shadowy legal justification of their activity.”

On the punitive operation in Ukraine's south-east

The minister noted that the resumption of the active phase of military operation in southeastern Ukraine would be a great mistake. 

“Doubtlessly, as for how voting was held, election results, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the so-called anti-terrorist operation did not end,” the minister said, noting that parliament-appointed First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema stated Kiev authorities would resume an active stage of the military operation.

“This will be a huge mistake,” Lavrov noted, adding that “A chance which exists today to establish a mutually respected, equal dialogue with due account of expression of will that Russia is ready to respect, this chance should not be missed.”

The Russian foreign minister added that the country would wait for official results and Petro Poroshenko’s official statements and "to formulate our assessments, our position in more details".

On the need of a thorough investigation of the Odessa tragedy

Sergei Lavrov has stressed that Moscow will strive for truth in the investigation of the May 2 tragedy in Odessa and believes OPCW should be invited to help investigate it. “So far, we haven’t received an official reply, but requests were made to secretaries general of the UN and OSCE,” Lavrov said. “We are convinced that it is possible and even needed to involve the possibilities of OPCW, considering the facts that are emerging, and that are needed to be investigated and checked to establish whether a toxic agent was used in the House of Trade Unions, where protesters hid from the militants.”

“In this building, other militants were already awaiting them, at least the evidence appearing now in media reports, including evidence of eyewitnesses, who tell how it was happening,” he went on saying. “They stroked off the hands of an orthodox priest, because he urged to stop and not to assault the House of Trade Unions.” I think all that cannot remain unnoticed for independent international organizations, and we will seek for truth,” the Russian minister stated. “Essentially, for a national conciliation in every internal conflict it is required to establish the truth, and that refers to the snipers issue, as well as to the Odessa tragedy,” the minister believes.

Sergei Lavrov added that taking into account the huge public reaction to these crimes, the United Nations and the OSCE “should try hard and demand from the Ukrainian authorities to ensure transparency of this investigation and its independent nature”. “If needed, professional experts should be involved, who can help,” the minister concluded.

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