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West forgot acting as guarantors between Ukraine’s ex-president and opposition - Putin

November 17, 2014, 7:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed that European guarantors of the February agreement between Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych and the country’s opposition on the national unity government should have insisted on the implementation of that government.

In an interview with German TV channel ARD, President Putin recalled that on February 21 foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland arrived in Kiev, where anti-government protests were in full swing, and acted as guarantors of the agreement, which “stipulated that the only path the process would take was the peaceful one.”

“It is true that I spoke by telephone with the President of the United States that same day, and this was the context for our conversation,” Putin said. “However, the following day, despite all the guarantees provided by our partners from the West, a coup happened and both the Presidential Administration and the Government headquarters were occupied.”

“I would like to say the following in this regard: either the Foreign Ministers of Germany, Poland and France should not have signed the agreement between the authorities and the opposition as its guarantors, or, since they did sign it after all, they should have insisted on its implementation instead of dissociating themselves from this agreement,” he said.

“What is more, they prefer now not to mention it at all, as though the agreement never existed. In my view, this is absolutely wrong and counterproductive,” Putin added.

Political and economic turmoil has embraced Ukraine after a coup rocked the country in February following months of anti-government protests, often violent, triggered by ex-President Yanukovych’s decision to suspend the signing of an association agreement with the EU in November 2013 in order to study the deal more thoroughly.

Amid deadly riots in February 2014, new people were brought to power in Kiev. Yanukovych had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns the same month. Ukraine’s crisis deteriorated further when the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, reunified with Russia on March 18.

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