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One should not tell Russia what to do; it is necessary to sit down to talks — Lavrov

July 18, 2014, 21:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's foreign minister explained that the people in Eastern Ukraine wanted their lawful rights to be respected

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MOSCOW, July 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Russia 24 TV news channel that it was unnecessary to tell Russia what it was supposed to do and that it would be much more expedient to sit down to talks.

“The most important thing, as Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated in his conversation with President Obama, is to stop lecturing Russia what it should do and look into the core of the matter, which consists in the fact that the Ukrainian authorities are absolutely unwilling to sit down to talks with those who did not accept the February military coup (in Ukraine) and are refusing to accept the policy of talking to the Russian-speaking population in southeast Ukraine by force,” Lavrov said.

He explained that the people in Eastern Ukraine wanted their lawful rights to be respected.

“The only thing they want is to sit down to talks to discuss the future structure of the Ukrainian state and what rights will be guaranteed to all citizens. This is not their whim. It is a demand to the Kiev authorities to implement what they signed (the February 21 agreement) when they were still in opposition,” Lavrov said.

He added the creation of a national unity government was the key provision of the February 21 agreement.

“After being formed, the national unity government was supposed to start a constitutional reform that was supposed to have served as the basis for elections. Everything was distinct, logical and clear,” Lavrov stressed.

He explained the opposition had broken the agreement with Europe's connivance. “At least, the Europeans did not want to insist that the former opposition respected an agreement which had already been signed.

“After that, an attempt was made to return to a constructive dialogue, end violence and start an inclusive, transparent and open constitutional process with the involvement of all Ukrainian regions,” Lavrov went on to say.

“When we brought the paper to the United Nations Security Council and the OSCE and asked them to adopt a document signed by the foreign policy chiefs of the European Union, the United States, Russia and Ukraine, we did not find any support,” Lavrov said. We were offered to accept President Poroshenko’s peace plan, which ignored the April 17 Geneva statement and the principle of openness to the constitutional process.

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