KIEV, May 08. /ITAR-TASS/. A Ukrainian presidential candidate, parliament deputy Sergey Tigipko, on Thursday condemned the use of force in settling the situation in Ukraine’s East.
“My position is clear - peace at any cost. Today saber-rattling will help no one - all the same the conflict should end with peaceful talks. We won’t make anyone do anything by force,” Tigipko told journalists in the northern city of Chernigov.
He recommended the Kiev authorities to use Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal on talks “instead of brushing aside”.
Tigipko called for amnesty for East Ukrainian protesters who had not committed serious crimes.
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence and joined Russia on March 18 following a referendum.
Southeastern Ukrainian protesters, who demand broader powers for their regions, have seized some government buildings.
The Kiev authorities have been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders, has condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian federalization supporters.
At least 46 people died on May 2 in clashes and a fire in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa after radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where pro-federalization activists hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on federalization and for the status of a state language for Russian.
The Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine plan to hold plebiscites on state independence on May 11.