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Russia does not reject Geneva format of meetings over Ukraine crisis — diplomat

November 07, 2014, 13:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia would like to see a responsible approach to negotiations with authorities of eastern Ukraine's self-proclaimed republics on behald of Kiev, says Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin
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MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russia does not reject the Geneva format of talks over Ukraine, but at the same time it would like one and all to take a responsible approach, because a meeting as an end in itself would make no sense at all, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in reply to a question from TASS.

“We have never said a return to the Geneva format would not be feasible. We have stated, though, that a Ukrainian representative attended the Geneva meeting on April 17, which produced some very clear provisions to which the Ukrainian representative - its foreign minister, put his signature. Those arrangements stipulated that the Ukrainian authorities should join a full-scale, inclusive dialogue with the representatives of the south-east,” Karasin said.

“Where is this dialogue? Where is the constitutional reform? Where is the draft of a new constitution, which has emerged in some backstage fashion and has not been made public to this day?” Karasin asked.

“We are aware of the Venice Commission’s conclusion (regarding the draft constitution - TASS), but the Ukrainian public and the world public have no idea what the gist of that constitution is, what the rights and duties are and what special status the languages will enjoy. There are very many questions. We keep asking them in connection with the proposals for a resumption of the Geneva format,” Karasin said.

“We take a very responsible approach to that,” he said.

“Everything that will contribute to a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis and help build ties between the authorities in Kiev and the representatives of the south-east is possible. We are prepared to go that far, but we would like to see a responsible approach and Kiev’s compliance with all of the liabilities it has assumed,” Karasin said about the chances for a new meeting.

The Ukrainian issue was on the agenda of several rounds of negotiations in various formats: in Geneva, involving the United States, the EU, Russia and Ukraine, in Normandy, with Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia taking part, and the Minsk negotiations by Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the OSCE.

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