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First national unity roundtable meeting took place in Kiev

May 14, 2014, 23:52 UTC+3 KIEV
It was attended by Ukraine’s former presidents, government members, people’s deputies, presidential candidates, regional administration chiefs and other politicians
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, May 14 /ITAR-TASS/. The first roundtable meeting of national unity took place in Ukraine’s parliament building on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass, constitutional reform, decentralization of power, anti-corruption measures, economic and humanitarian policies.

It was attended by Ukraine’s former presidents, Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, government members, people’s deputies, presidential candidates, regional administration chiefs, the heads of regional councils, businessmen, representatives of public and international organizations.

Ukraine is facing a “super complicated task” of preserving peace and tranquility in the country, Yatsenyuk said in his speech at the gathering.

“It is very important to start this national dialogue now because we are responsible for the future of a 45-millioin state in the heart of Europe,” Ukraine’s prime minister said.

He added the crisis should be solved exclusively by political and diplomatic means, noting Kiev was ready to talk to everybody who was not holding arms in hands.

“Security is our first goal. People are afraid of going out and communicating with each other. They fear for the country and their own future,” the head of Ukraine’s interim government said.

He stressed the need to achieve the assigned goals “via communication and dialogue” so that Kiev could hear Donetsk and Donetsk could hear Lvov.

According to Yatsenyuk, constitutional amendments which could de-centralize power in Ukraine and create a balance between the central authorities and regions as were the main mechanisms for reaching the national accord.

“Besides, it is necessary to hold fair and transparent presidential elections because the country needs a new legitimate head of state,” Yatsenyuk stressed.

He also spoke in favour of the ongoing four-sided international dialogue involving Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union with an aim to stabilize the situation in Ukraine.

“We will not shear away from a path leading to the country’s unity, power decentralization, constitutional amendments, the election of a new president and Ukraine’s European integration,” Yatsenyuk said.

He also urged cabinet of ministers and Ukraine’s former presidents, Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, to travel to as many Ukrainian regions as possible with an aim to conduct a national dialogue.

“I am going to insist that cabinet ministers also take part in this process,” Yatsenyuk said.

Next meetings

Ukraine’s presidential candidate and parliament deputy Pyotr Poroshenko said after meeting that it would be expedient to hold such roundtables not only in Kiev but also in Kharkov and the country’s Donbass region.

He said that order and security could be restored in Donbass only after the May 25 presidential elections.

“I see no alternative to roundtables at this moment,” Poroshenko stressed.

The next national unity meeting is expected to take place in Donetsk in East Ukraine on Saturday or Monday (May 17 or 19).

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