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Kiev afraid Ukraine’s center and west may arise along with southeast — president nominee

April 25, 2014, 21:01 UTC+3 DONETSK
According to Tsariov, the crisis in Ukraine could be resolved in “just a few days,” if the Kiev authorities lend an ear to the demands of people living in southeastern regions of Ukraine
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Oleh Tsariov

Oleh Tsariov

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

DONETSK, April 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev’s authorities are afraid that Ukraine’s “centre and west could arise” along with its southeastern regions, Oleh Tsariov, who is running for Ukrainian president, said on Friday.

“People used to come to Maidan [Kiev’s central Independence Square] to speak up for democracy and a better life, against corruption of oligarchs and the authorities,” he said. “Now, we do not have more democracy. Some of Russian channels are banned in Ukraine, journalists are detained, political repression is underway, army is engaged in a punitive operation against the people.”

Living standards are degrading and “there are no conditions for their improvement,” he stressed. “All that is going on is not what they promised to the people.” That is why, in his words, Kiev is afraid that Ukraine’s central and western regions might follow the lead of the country’s southeast and “arise.”

According to Tsariov, the crisis in Ukraine could be resolved in “just a few days,” if the Kiev authorities lend an ear to the demands of people living in southeastern regions of Ukraine. He said he had offered his candidature as a mediator between the authorities and protesters. “There is a very simple way out of the current situation. I can speak with any protesters, I am welcome everywhere,” he said.

The authorities, he stressed, must show readiness “to stop the army, to take the troops back to their permanent garrisons, to disband illegal armed groups, to conduct amnesty and close cases against protesting officers of the riot police [Berkut], and to lend an ear to the demands about the status of the Russian language and the federalization of the country.”

To deescalate the conflict, in his words, the government should sit down at a roundtable and take a decision on amnesty and troops pullout. After that, it must adopt a roadmap on amendments to be made to the constitution. “We have out edition of the constitution and we are ready to present it to the government,” Tsariov said.

“It is much easier to try to reach an agreement than to kill own citizens,” he stressed.

Earlier on Friday, Tsariov said that the Kiev authorities were subordinate to the US administration. “When in a span of two weeks the CIA director, the US vice president and the head of the US Senate armed service committee pay visits to Kiev, one has an impression that Ukraine is subordinate to the American administration,” he said.

“International cooperation is a good thing. But I don’t want Ukraine to lose its political and economic independence,” he stressed.

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