ROME, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini has lauded agreements reached in Geneva at a meeting of representatives of Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine on Thursday.
“Agreement in Geneva means a turnaround in the Ukrainian crisis, the beginning of the phase of dialogue,” Mogherini said, adding that it is the start of a new path “in which we believed and for the sake of which we worked, but which had not been predetermined”.
“Now the agreed measures should be implemented, tensions in the east of Ukraine should subside, all sides should take a responsible position, violence should be stopped, including with the help of the OSCE mission,” she said.
“It is very important for the set of constitutional reforms to continue quickly, in conditions of transparency for the benefit of all Ukrainians and stability in the region,” the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Geneva statement
The Geneva Statement adopted after Thursday’s meeting on Ukraine in particular envisions that all illegal armed formations should be disarmed in Ukraine, all administrative buildings unblocked and all protesters except for those who committed serious crimes pardoned.
Political and economic turmoil has embraced Ukraine after a coup rocked the country in February. Amid deadly riots that involved radicals in February 2014, new people were brought to power in Kiev, whom Moscow does not recognize as Ukraine's legitimate leaders.
The crisis deepened when Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the de facto Ukrainian authorities. Crimea reunified with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which it overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
After the reunification, which Kiev does not accept despite Russia’s repeated statements that the Crimean plebiscite conformed to the international law, pro-federalization protests against the new Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories.