Geneva Statement on the situation in Ukraine

ORIENTAL REVIEW publishes the full text of Joint Statement issued by the foreign ministers of the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and European Union after talks in Geneva on April 17, 2014.

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

Geneva talks on Ukraine crisisAll 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 U.S., E.U. 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.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov press-conference following the talks:

Brief notes:

Implementation will be the key challenge here, especially the provisions concerning disarmament of illegal armed groups. The irony of situation is that the “illegal armed groups” on both sides of the internal Ukrainian conflict are the only authorities on the ground which matter today. What will be the practical way of disarming Right Sector? Will Russia accept “legalization” of the ultranationalists by recruting them into unconstitutional National Guard of Ukraine? How can we qualify foreign mercenaries’ units and private oligarch’s batallions operating now in the East of Ukraine?

Constitutional process (a priority issue) is only generally outlined in the text. Certainly a Constitutional Assembly should be gathered to elaborate the new draft Constitution. The composition and legal establishment of the Assembly (taking into account the dubious legality of the current Kievan administration) will be the subject of exhaustible further talks.

Western demands for “de-escalation” and “withdrawal of the excessive Russian troops along Ukrainian border” notably contradict NATO’s announcements about strengthening of the NATO contingents in Eastern Europe and  deployment of additional US and French warships in the Black Sea last week and four minesweepers and a support vessel to the Baltic Sea yesterday.

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