Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

21 February 201421:03

Comment by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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On the 21 February, it was announced that an agreement would be signed between the Ukrainian Government and the opposition leader, with the mediation of the foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France.

In response to a request by the Ukrainian authorities and the European Union, the Human Rights Commissioner of Russia, Vladimir Lukin, was involved inthese negotiations at the definitivestage. By that time, the text of the agreements was almost ready, and our representative proceeded from the fact that the authorities and the opposition should search for consent between themselves. The fact that Vladimir Lukin did not signthese agreements as a witness, as three European ministers did, does not mean that Russia is not interested in searching for compromises, which will allow a stop to be put to the bloodshed and a return to legal order as soon as possible. For example, we will be ready to provide further assistance to the Ukrainians based on their request to normalise the situation.

We are convinced that far-reaching processes such as constitutional reform for Ukraine must be implemented with the full involvement of the political forces and the regions, but the draft of such a reform should be subject to a nationwide referendum.

Practical steps for the immediate pacification of the situation must be reciprocal to be able to truly contribute to national peace. And, of course, any forms of mediation must be implemented with unconditional respect for the sovereignty of Ukraine.

We also emphasize, once again, that the Government and the opposition bear the main responsibility for their country. This involves the emerging political process and the need to edge away from extremists, without compromise and decisively stop all their illegal actions. We will welcome any steps agreed in this direction.

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