MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. Kiev presented its draft agreement on April 6, which marks a departure from the provisions that were recorded at a meeting held in Istanbul on March 29, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
"Ukraine presented its draft agreement to the negotiating group yesterday, which marks a clear departure from the most important provisions that were recorded at the Istanbul meeting on March 29 in a document signed by the Ukrainian delegation’s head Arakhamia," he pointed out.
According to Lavrov, Kiev said in the Istanbul document that future security guarantees for Ukraine would not apply to Crimea and Sevastopol. "However, there are no such statements in the draft agreement presented yesterday, it only mentions some ‘effective control’ as at February 23," he noted. "In addition, there is an idea that the issues of Crimea and Donbass should be included in the agenda of a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents," Lavrov said. "Surely, Ukraine will next request a withdrawal of [Russian] troops and will keep piling up preconditions. The plan is clear and it is unacceptable," the Russian foreign minister emphasized.
Lavrov also said that Russian troops had de-escalated the situation in the Kiev and Chernigov area after the Istanbul meeting as a gesture of goodwill in order to facilitate efforts to make an agreement. "In response, a provocation was staged in Bucha, which the West immediately used in order to introduce another package of sanctions, and Ukrainian neo-Nazis carried out atrocities against Russian prisoners of war," the top diplomat stressed.
According to him, the document that Arakhamia signed in Istanbul says that Ukraine will be able to host military drills involving foreign parties only with the consent of all guarantor countries, including Russia. "However, the draft document presented yesterday does not contain this clear provision and speaks about the possibility of holding drills with the consent of the majority of guarantor countries, without mentioning Russia," Lavrov explained.