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Moscow: Kiev's reaction obstructs OSCE efforts to resolve Ukraine crisis

Published time: May 08, 2014 13:08
Edited time: May 08, 2014 23:15
The head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter (R), and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) arrive for a press conference in the Kremlin in Moscow, on May 7, 2014, after their meeting. (AFP Photo / POOL / Sergei Karpukhin)

The head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter (R), and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) arrive for a press conference in the Kremlin in Moscow, on May 7, 2014, after their meeting. (AFP Photo / POOL / Sergei Karpukhin)

Kiev's reaction has jeopardized the OSCE’s efforts to start an inclusive national dialogue in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed “deep concern” at Kiev’s official reaction to proposals on resolving the Ukrainian crisis reached by President Putin and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter during negotiations in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Reaction to the results of the Putin-Burkhalter meeting is a matter of deep concern as it effectively puts into question the prospects of the OSCE's efforts to launch an inclusive national dialogue,” Lavrov said in a phone call with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“Lavrov stressed that President Putin's call to representatives of southeast regions of Ukraine, supporters of federalization, to postpone the May 11 referendum, creates favorable possibilities to start substantive dialogue, including the OSCE roadmap of the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis proposed by the Swiss chairmanship of the OSCE,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The international community “in general” positively reacted to the negotiation’s results in Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stressed, adding that Moscow considers this a good sign and evidence of the international community's interest in solving the Ukrainian crisis.

“But from Kiev, there were only phoney attempts to make snarky remarks by Arseniy Yatsenuk. From the side of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, there were obscure statements that without Ukraine no one can discuss political deadlock in this country,” the ministry said.

“It looks like in Kiev they forgot that the situation in Ukraine is in the focus of all responsible international partners,” the statement said. “Obviously, Yatsenyuk and his team should first of all talk to the Ukrainian people, not ‘from above’ but as equals, without annoying ultimatums and illegal use of force.”

Moreover, Kiev's reaction bluntly contradicts the agreement reached in Geneva, the foreign ministry noted.

“Such a position is in direct conflict with the fundamental principle of the Geneva Declaration, which begins with the requirements of the termination of any use of force,” the ministry said.

Furthermore Kiev's “unwillingness to listen to the international community” is undermining the efforts of the OSCE, because it is unlikely protesters in the south-east of Ukraine will “cooperate with the regime which declared them all terrorists and sent an army against them.”

On Wednesday, acting Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk expressed dismay that the crisis was discussed in Moscow without representatives from Kiev or its allies, the US and the EU. He expressed hopes that the OSCE, which came up with its roadmap, will accept Kiev’s plan of action that was proposed shortly after talks between Putin and Burkhalter in Moscow.

Yatsenyuk said the plan was worked out by the country’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa. He proposed organising “national unity roundtables” with “representatives of all political forces from all regions and civil society” and expressed hope “OSCE experience” will help in organizing such gatherings.

The US State Department was quick to support the idea of “roundtables” as a means of defusing tensions in Ukraine, with deputy spokesperson Marie Harf telling foreign journalists at a briefing she hopes such discussions will help Ukrainians decide their own future, Itar-tass reports.

At the same time Kiev opted to ignore calls from President Putin to stop the military operation in the southeast of the country.

“The counterterrorist operation will go on regardless of any decisions by any subversive or terrorist groups in the Donetsk region,” Andrey Parubiy told reporters in Kiev.

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