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KIEV, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. At a four-party meeting in Geneva Ukraine will insist Russia should withdraw troops from Crimea, Ukraine’s top diplomat said.
“It is important for us to ensure that the Russian parliament withdraws its decision that allows the Russian president to use troops in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian parliament-appointed acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deschchytsia told a news briefing on Wednesday.
“Ukraine will insist Russia pulls its troops away from the border with Ukraine,” he said, adding that the government had approved directives to this effect.
The meeting within the Russia-US-EU-Ukraine format “is due to focus on deescalation (of the situation) in Ukraine”, Deshchytsia said.
On April 10, Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry said Geneva was ready to mediate a four-party meeting on Ukraine.
“If the four-party meeting on Ukraine with the United States, the European Union and the Ukrainian authorities is held, Switzerland will laud it,” Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Marc Crevoisier said.
“Some time ago Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, OSCE Chairman-in-Office for 2014, suggested convening an international contact group on Ukraine,” he said.
On April 4, the Russian Foreign Ministry said a possible meeting within the Russia-US-EU-Ukraine format was being studied.
“The date and place of the meeting have not been specified yet,” the ministry told ITAR-TASS.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “We are ready to consider the multiparty format that will involve Europeans, the USA, Russia and the Ukrainian side.”
On April 7, Lavrov held telephone conversations with US Secretary of State John Kerry and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss this issue.
“US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the two countries had agreed to hold direct talks involving representatives from the US, Russia, the EU and Ukraine to search for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in the next ten days. (US Secretary of State) John Kerry and I did not discuss any specific date, because in line with our agreement, it is necessary to first and foremost understand the format, the agenda and the legal procedures of this event,” he said.