Moscow Says Kiev Did Next to Nothing in February, April Agreements
MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has not fulfilled its obligations from February 21 or April 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"It needs to be remembered that, first and foremost, on February 21, when the agreement was signed between President [Viktor] Yankovych and the then-leaders of the opposition Klitschko, Yatsenyuk, Tyahinbok and witnessing this were the ministers of foreign affairs from Germany, France, and Poland. Practically nothing was done from this agreement that was supposed to be done by the then-opposition," Lavrov said during a briefing, stressing the same applied to other agreements.
"Let me point out the April 17 Geneva Accords as a key agreement, which prioritized the task of ending any use of force and beginning an open accountable and inclusive constitutional process involving all the regions of Ukraine. Nothing [of the kind] has been done," Lavrov said.
In February, violent confrontation between Ukrainian supporters of European integration and their opponents broke out in Kiev, centered on the city's main square Maidan, leading to scores of casualties.
On February 21, Ukrainian opposition leaders signed an EU-mediated peace pact with then President Viktor Yanukovych aimed at ending the fierce standoff between both sides.
The next day, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, voted to strip Yanukovych of his powers, amended the constitution and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25, backed by far-right movements.
The citizens of the mainly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of Ukraine have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country's interim government and called for referendums on greater autonomy, with rallies sweeping through the regions.
In response to these demands Kiev launched a special operation in mid-April to crack down on the protesters, causing a new wave of violent clashes with hundreds casualties, including civilians.
Top diplomats from Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine met in Geneva on April 17 to devise road map, which called for the end of violence in the region, amnesty for all those involved in the fighting and a peaceful dialogue between the state authorities and the independence supporters.
The resulting Geneva Accords did not stop Kiev from proceeding with its special military operation, resulting in more victims and forcing locals to flee from conflict-ridden regions in Ukraine's southeast.
Russia has called the Western-backed military operation against the protesters a "punitive act," repeatedly stressing that a complete stop to violence is the only way to start solving the country's internal crisis.
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