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Ukraine drafts measures to de-escalate tensions - Ukrainian Foreign Minister

“We meet in the four-party format every day, with the participation of the leadership of the mission of the OSCE,” acting Foreign Minister says
Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia AP Photo/Virginia Mayo
Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia
© AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

KIEV, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. In keeping with the Geneva agreement, Ukraine is working out measures to de-escalate tensions in the east of the country, acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia said o Monday, April 21.

“We meet in the four-party format every day, with the participation of the leadership of the mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to work out measures towards de-escalation of the situation in the eastern part of Ukraine,” he said.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier in the day that the Ukrainian authorities were not complying with the Geneva agreement.

“The Kiev authorities are doing nothing, not moving a finger to eliminate the causes of the current deep crisis in Ukraine,” Lavrov said. “The Right Sector has been running things in different cities in central and western Ukraine for almost half a year, trying to spread its influence to the eastern regions by force,” he said.

”Buildings in Kiev which were seized by force at the start of the events in Ukraine have not been vacated, the streets have not been unblocked and the ‘Maidan’ (general term meaning public protests against the authorities) continues to ‘boom’, excuse the term. The leaders appointed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) are saying openly that the Geneva agreement does not apply to the ‘Maidan’ because the Kiev City Council or city administration has made the decision that the ‘Maidan’ may stay on and that it is legitimate. This is absolutely unacceptable,” the minister said.


Geneva II

The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine on April 17 agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism.

All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes.

It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days. The US, EU and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors.

The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable. It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments.

The participants underlined the importance of economic and financial stability in Ukraine and would be ready to discuss additional support as the above steps are implemented.