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Moscow welcomes ceasefire extension in Ukraine Southeast

June 27, 2014, 16:30 UTC+3

“The situation is very fragile and creates many risks and dangers,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov notes

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Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov


MOSCOW, June 27./ITAR-TASS/.Moscow hopes that the extension of the truce for three days and contacts between the authorities in Kiev and Ukraine’s southeast will help reach firm agreements, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

The Geneva statement of April 17 implies that the constitutional process should be inclusive with the participation of all parties. It should be transparent and launched immediately, Lavrov said.

“When we’re told Russia should comply with the Geneva statement, I’m surprised. Nothing is related to Russia: the statement’s chapter on the constitutional reform and the need of the dialogue is written clearly and unambiguously,” he said.

“Since April 17 no immediate steps have been taken to carry out the constitutional reform. It turns out that the reform is over on the paper and being submitted to the Verkhovna Rada. But I don’t see any final proposals. The major task is that Ukraine’s southeast should understand that its interests are taken into account. It would right to start a certain constitutional process and then to submit the draft constitution to the Verkhovna Rada,” Lavrov said.

Russia supported the truce as soon as it had been declared. “We hoped that it would be announced just after the inauguration of Mr. Poroshenko. But it’s better late than never,” he said.

“Of course, we had any questions to (Ukrainian President Petro) Poroshenko’s plan because the truce was announced for a restricted period of time in order to allow militia to surrender arms and leave Ukraine. If anyone does not obey the orders, he will be neutralised,” Lavrov said.

“We stressed that the truce should be extended for five or six days because it was not easy to start a calm dialogue. Passions should be cooled off,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for extending the truce in his public speeches and the contacts with the leaders of German and France, with the Swiss president, Lavrov said.

“We talked about it with the Ukrainian authorities at different levels,” he said.

“If the truce extension is confirmed, it can be welcomed. We hope that this won’t mean the delay of the ultimatum,” Lavrov said.

“The situation is very fragile and creates many risks and dangers,” Lavrov said.

“I hope that the extension of the truce by 72 hours and the contacts between the authorities in Kiev and Southeast Ukraine under the auspices of Russia and the OSCE will help create more stable mechanisms for resolving the crisis. I mean a respectful and equal dialogue that will meet the interests of citizens in Ukraine’s southeast,” Lavrov said.



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