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Ukrainian Foreign Ministry praises Maidan, criticizes southeastern protesters

April 09, 2014, 23:56 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, April 09 /ITAR-TASS/. Maidan protesters “defended Ukraine’s European democratic future”, whereas protesters in the Ukrainian eastern and southern regions “throw the regions’ residents into the abyss of the past,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Yevgeny Perebeynos said Wednesday.

Perebeynos also said “Russia protracts the keeping of its promises to contribute to de-escalation of the situation” in Ukraine’s border regions.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman also said his country would like “to live in peace with Russia and maintain with its neighbors friendly, partner-like and equal relations”.

He said Ukraine will “never agree to return to the past, the era of stagnation”.

“European Ukraine is actually not a threat to Russia,” Perebeynos added.

Maidan is the name for downtown Kiev's Independence Square, which is the symbol of Ukrainian protests. The word “Maidan” is also used as a collective name for anti-government protests in Ukraine.

Months of anti-government protests, often violent, ended with a coup in Ukraine in February. The protests, dubbed “Euromaidan”, began when President Viktor Yanukovich decided in November 2013 to suspend the signing of an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Amid deadly riots that involved radicals, new people were brought to power in Kiev after Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns in February. Moscow does not recognize the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities, who appear unable to restrain the activity of radicals and ultranationalists in the country.

Ukraine’s political crisis deepened when the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, reunified with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

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