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STRASBOURG, April 07, 17:13 /ITAR-TASS/. It will be hardly possible to achieve stability in Ukraine without due regard for popular sentiment in Ukraine’s East and South, the head of Russia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), chairman of Russia’s State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, said.
“The situation shows that it will be impossible to achieve stability without due regard for the aspirations and striving of people in eastern and southern Ukraine, first of all, the Russian-speaking people and the Russian population,” he said.
PACE members “are beginning to realize” this problem, Pushkov said, and some Western parliamentarians already recognize that “Kiev’s current authorities cannot control the situation”.
“Two weeks ago, a delegation from the PACE Presidential Committee visited Ukraine - Kiev, Lviv and Donetsk. The delegates were able to see for themselves that the problem of Russians in the East and South was not invented by Russia. It is a real problem that stems from popular discontent there,” Pushkov said. “They have come to the conclusion that the authorities in Kiev do not completely control the situation and that the presence of paramilitary units that obey no one and are illegal is completely untypical of a country claiming to be a democracy.”
“I believe these ideas, which are new for the Assembly, will be discussed during the debates,” Pushkov said, adding that he hoped that some PACE delegates “will point out that the situation is extremely difficult” and that the developments in Crimea “have resulted from the government collapse and an unconstitutional change of power”.
In general, the leaders of political factions at the PACE were increasingly aware that Ukraine's current crisis stemmed not from Russia's actions, but the inability of Ukraine’s current authorities to find a way out of the problem situation, Pushkov said.
PACE debates on Ukraine are scheduled for April 9.