Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

EU, US, Russia and Ukraine agree declaration in Geneva


The talks on deescalation of the crisis in Ukraine took more than 7 hours on April 17.

Ukraine was represented by acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, Russia – by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the EU – by head of European diplomats Catherine Ashton and the USA – by Secretary of State John Kerry. A declaration on certain steps needed to deescalate the tension in Ukraine was adopted.

Sergey Lavrov described the main points of the Geneva declaration at a press conference. According to the document, all sides of the conflict in Ukraine must refrain from any violence, extremism and intimidation. All illegal armed groupings must be disarmed, the seized buildings must be returned to their owners, all cities and squares must be released. The Ukrainian authorities will amnesty all the protesters who will lay down arms and release the seized buildings. The amnesty will not apply to those who have committed grave crimes.

An OSCE mission will be invited to fulfill the measures, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs noted. ‘A large-scale national dialogue’ is about to start in Ukraine, Lavrov stressed. It will ‘involve all the regions and political groups’. Amendments should be made to the Ukrainian Constitution (decentralization of power, expanding the provinces’ rights and definition of the status of the Russian language). ‘Only then the restoration of stability in Ukraine’s economy’ will be discussed, Lavrov said.

"This is a pretty much compromise agreement,” Sergey Lavrov stressed. However, the crisis must be settled by Ukrainians, he noted.

The Russian Foreign Minister’s rhetoric has changed, a number of Ukrainian experts noted. However, no hasty conclusions should be made: it is necessary to watch the events in East Ukraine. Furthermore, Vladimir Putin’s recent statements ‘on the Ukrainian issue’ were rather tough.