GENEVA, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. A four-party meeting on Ukraine is being prepared and may take place on April 17, a Western diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS on Thursday, April 10.
If all parties confirm their participation, the meeting will be held in Geneva, tentatively on April 17 at the Intercontinental Hotel where many historic meetings on Syria and Iran were held, the source said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on April 9 that the meeting on Ukraine should help foster equal dialogue in Ukraine. He said Russia would attend a four-party meeting on Ukraine with the United States, the European Union and the Ukrainian authorities only if it helped Kiev foster contacts with all political and regional forces inside the country.
The West has suggested holding a meeting on the situation in Ukraine. “April was named as a tentative date,” he recalled and stressed that Russia’s position was simple. “This is an internal Ukrainian crisis, and those who are holding the reins of power in Kiev now must invite all regions, all political forces to start a dialogue on the constitution, on the language and all other aspects.”
Lavrov said Russia had so far received no reply to its inquiries, including those concerning rumours that Kiev is planning to sell ballistic missile technologies. “We asked the Americans what they think about this. They keep silence,” the minister said.
Another inquiry that remains unanswered was about reports claiming that personnel of the private American security company Greystone had been deployed in Ukraine. “They say: we see no reason for this to be true. What a strange answer. Why don’t you simply say: there is none of them there?” Lavrov said, adding that there were also other inquiries that had not been answered by the US authorities.
“If this meeting focuses on urging the Ukrainian authorities not to wait for the south-eastern regions to boil over, as is the case now, and on urging them to talk with these regions, we will join this call,” he said.
Lavrov recalled that the new Ukrainian authorities had not visited the southern and south-eastern regions of the country even once since February 22 when they took power in Kiev. “They say: there is the Party of Regions and there are communists in the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] and that’s enough. But it’s not so because many regions think that those who sit in the Verkhovna Rada do not represent their interests,” he said.
The minister said he did not know where the meeting could take place. “We want to understand the purpose of convening this meeting,” he said.
If the organisers intend to urge the Kiev authorities to take care of the country, Russia will support it wholeheartedly. “But if they say: ‘take your seats at the table and give them cheap gas’, this is probably senseless,” he said.
In discussing ways to resolve the Ukrainian crisis some time ago, Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry did not rule out a meeting between Ukrainian, Russian, EU and US officials.