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‘Civil war can never be the response in Ukraine’

Published time: July 09, 2014 12:29

Residents of a house in the residential settlement Malaya Vergunka ruined by a Ukrainian air raid. (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

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UN figures are always more important than opinions and doubts, and in the case of Ukraine they point to the catastrophic situation there, former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told RT.

“I strongly hope Kiev will be sitting with the Russian Federation and Europe to try to decide as soon as possible a federal structure of Ukraine in full respect of Russian minorities,” Frattini added.

RT: How do you view President Poroshenko's order for eastern Ukraine's two biggest cities to be blockaded?

Franco Frattini: I think it is never a good order where innocent civilians are taken under siege. It is never a good order where civilians are exposed to become victims of violence. Unfortunately, civil war can never be the response.

RT: What will this mean for the public? There's already a water shortage in Donetsk, and a million people live there.

FF: Always when people are exposed to violence, when people are under siege, when the innocent population [suffers] – that always leads to escalation and a negative and counterproductive impact. It is not the right solution.

RT:The government crackdown has literally put the region on its knees, dozens were killed, thousands had to flee, and the area is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. How justified have Kiev's actions been?

FF: In my opinion, a civil war atmosphere can never be justifiable. I very strongly hope it will be possible for the government of Ukraine to immediately order a ceasefire, as everybody in the world would like to see this.

RT: Washington refuses to admit there's a mass exodus of refugees, and has even publicly doubted the UN figures. Why do you think it's downplaying the scale of the problem?

FF: Frankly speaking, I do not know why, but for me the UN figures are always more important than opinions and doubts. I think that the UN figures are showing us that it is a catastrophic situation there.

RT: The US insists Kiev has a right to protect its land with all means possible. Do you agree?

FF: As I said, civil war cannot be the response. I strongly hope Kiev will be sitting with the Russian Federation and Europe to try to decide as soon as possible a federal structure of Ukraine in full respect of Russian minorities. You know, maybe, that we have in Italy probably the best example in the world of coexistence between different ethnic and linguistic groups. South Tirol, Italy - it can be a source of some inspiration to create a federal Ukraine.

RT: Russia, Germany and France have been brokering a lasting ceasefire, but President Poroshenko refuses to extend one. Can we expect a truce in the foreseeable future?

FF: Apparently President Poroshenko said on July 8 to the Italian Foreign Minister that he would be ready to immediately accept a ceasefire. I hope that this good intention will be translated into a presidential order to renew the permanent ceasefire in that region.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.