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Lavrov hopes Ukraine’s coalition government to include peace-minded ministers

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed more than once his commitment to the Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hopes that Ukraine’s new coalition government will include ministers committed to the course of achieving peace. He said it in an interview with LifeNews TV channel and Izvestia daily.

“I’m sure there’ll be people to speak to both in the Verkhovna Rada and in the government, in the first place, because Petro Poroshenko’s bloc will become the leading force in the Ukrainian parliament anyway,” Lavrov said, recalling that Poroshenko was the partner of Russia and President Vladimir Putin in coordination of the Minsk agreements.

Poroshenko has confirmed more than once his commitment to these agreements. He did so at a meeting in Milan on October 17 and earlier this year at a multilateral meeting in Normandy, Lavrov said.

“I hope the government that will be formed — and it will inevitably be a coalition government — will have some ministers committed to the president’s course at achieving peace, at restoration of national concord and national reconciliation in Ukraine,” he continued.

“As a minimum, Poroshenko says firmly in his contacts with Putin he will not admit a relapse of military operations and that’s the main thing now,” Lavrov said.

Opponents of peaceful course

Along with it, Lavrov said the outgoing Ukrainian cabinet did not always support the peaceful course, and this was manifested in Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleksandr Turchynov’s pullout from Batkivshchyna party and the setting up of the People’s Front.

“When they held the posts of Prime Minister and Rada Speaker respectively, they regularly called Poroshenko’s steps into question, including implementation of the Minsk accords and the search for compromise on the natural gas problem,” Lavrov said. “They said Russia would never come to terms with Ukraine on gas and Yatsenyuk claimed recently Moscow had set a goal for itself to freeze Ukraine — and outrageous statement for a responsible politician.”

He also recalled a situation where Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said publicly he was not going to act in line with the law on special self-government procedures for the territories controlled by self-defense forces. “I hope formation of a cabinet of people thinking along the lines of the course set out by President Poroshenko will be one of the encouraging results of these elections,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine government to take care of practical problems

It’s important for Russia to see that Ukraine's government is taking care of practical problems the country faces and does not engage in internal strife, Lavrov said continued.

In all appearance, the early parliamentary election is an accomplished fact now, even though it was not held on the entire territory of the country, Lavrov said.

“I think Russia will recognize the results of voting because it’s very important for us to see that Ukraine has finally gotten a kind of state power that doesn’t engage in an internal strife and doesn’t pull the whole nation either westwards or eastwards but cares for the tangible problems and thinks about assuring the unity of the country,” he said.

Lavrov described this unity as a situation where all the people living in Ukraine would find a dignified place in it regardless of their native language or political views and where no one would suffer from persecution for political or other reasons.

“Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are working at the election and there are Russians among them,” he said, adding that Russian parliament did not send a separate team of observers to Ukraine this time. “Let’s wait for the results the OSCE international monitoring group will report,” Lavrov said.

Radical parties in Verkhovna Rada

Moscow is concerned by the passage of radical parties to Ukraine’s national parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, but it notes that the radicals have received fewer sears than they hoped for initially, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

As he mentioned the results shown by Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party, he said, “I wouldn’t call it victory. As it is customary to say in such cases, he got over the qualification barrier, the same way as another radical party — Oleh Tyahnybok’s Svoboda — did.”

“If I’m not mistaken, each of these parties received slightly more than 6% seats. Just recall that many expected Oleh Lyashko’s party to turn out second,” Lavrov said. “But things didn’t turn out the way these radical ultranationalist groupings hoped for.”

He recalled that the EU launched protests after Svoboda had gotten to Rada in the election of December 2012. “It was quite right then as it denounced the party as an ultranationalist one.” “The party’s charter still contains the principles declared by the Ukrainian nationalists at the end of July, 1941” right after the outbreak of operations on the Soviet front.

“Svoboda’s platform stipulates loyalty to the principles declared in a statement expressing solidarity with the ideology of the new order, which Hitler announced in Europe,” Lavrov said. “This is a fact to be noticed.” “When Svoboda received parliamentary seats in the Rada in December 2012, Brussels made out appeals to other political forces to refrain from cooperation with that party because it engaged an ultra-nationalistic ideology,” he added.

“Nonetheless, the coup  in Kiev at the end of February was carried out by a coalition where Tyahnybok’s party was a participant and the Europeans supported the outcome of that coup,” Lavrov said. “That’s why we were alarmed by the type of connivance that would help radicals get more votes than they got eventually,” he said.

Lavrov believes this is a manifestation of wisdom of the Ukrainian people, which has discerned the true motivations of Lyashko and some others like him.