|Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry,|
during Geneva talks over Ukrainian crisis
(Image: Business Insider)
Situation remains tense in Eastern Ukraine, as Russian forces and pro-Russian separatists and terrorists continue to seize and control several administrative buildings, and the provocations continue as well. Ukrainian massive anti-terrorist operation is ongoing in Eastern Ukraine, including the restive Donetsk and Luhansk regions, though the outcomes of this operation are controversial.
Meanwhile, talks in Geneva aimed to discuss the currently situation in Ukraine and to find the solution of the deepening crisis, have been held as planned, on 17 April, and attended by the high state officials representing Ukraine, US, EU and Russia. The talks have started 11 a.m. European time and lasted much longer than it was expected. Though the sides have reached consensus and agreed to take the measures in order to de-escalate the situation in Eastern Ukraine, according to the official press-conference of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, held right after the end of the meeting.
According to the meeting’s statement, “all sides should 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”.
In addition to that it was agreed, that “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 cities in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated”.
This agreement also grants amnesty to all those who will willingly leave the occupied buildings and places and surrender their weapons, except of the persons committed crimes and found guilty of capital crimes”.
The Constitution is also to be revised in an “inclusive, transparent and accountable process”.
Special OSCE mission will monitor and observe the process of implementation of these measures and steps and mediate between Ukrainian current government and people in the regions in order to regulate the situation and to de-escalate it, according to Mr. Lavrov’s statement.
Among the decisions taken during the talks was also a decision to immediately start a wide national dialogue between different forces in Ukraine aimed for reconciliation and stabilization of the situation. This dialogue should be also held within the frameworks of the transparent and fair constitutional process, which will represent and include all the shifts of society and political powers of the country.
It’s worth mentioning, that the outcomes of this meeting appeared to be more than it was expected by the negotiating parts before, especially considering the Russian current position, statements of Russian representative in UN Vitaliy Churkin during the latest UN Security Council session and the latest statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin, made on Thursday during his open press-conference.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has declared that the agreement represents “good work”, but that it would have little meaning, if the statements won’t be followed by the firm actions on all sides.
Meanwhile, massive pro-Ukrainian rallies have been held on Thursday, 17 April, in several Ukrainian cities including the restive Eastern region and cities like Donetsk, Kramatorsk, Luhansk and others. Thus, the rally for Ukrainian unity and sovereignty in Donetsk was attended by 3-5 thousand people, according to the different estimations.