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Russia’s ambassador to UN praises Geneva agreements on Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, April 18  /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has praised agreements on Ukraine reached Thursday but said it should be seen how they will be fulfilled.

“I think this is a good agreement. We see the situation moving, and this provision on a transparent and inclusive constitutional process is what we called for. Let’s see how it will be fulfilled,” Churkin told journalists in the headquarters of the global organization on Thursday.

The Geneva Statement adopted on Thursday after a meeting on Ukraine that involved the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union emphasizes that the constitutional process in Ukraine will be “inclusive, transparent and accountable”.

The document states the necessity for all illegal groups to be disarmed and buildings, streets and squares occupied by them to be vacated in Ukrainian cities.

The meeting participants also said the sides “must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions”. They “strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism”.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the reached agreements. He said that their thorough fulfillment will help settle the Ukrainian crisis.

Ukraine saw a coup in February, which brought new people to power amid deadly riots. Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities. It held a referendum in which it decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. A relevant deal was signed March 18.

Moscow does not recognize the de facto Kiev authorities either.

After Crimea’s accession to Russia, which Kiev does not accept despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum was in conformity with the international law, protests against the new Ukrainian leaders have erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization.

Ukrainian parliament-appointed acting president Alexander Turchinov on April 15 announced the start of an antiterrorism operation in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, apparently aimed to crack down on pro-federalization protesters.