May 11 referendums should be treated as signals of deep Ukraine statehood crisis — Moscow

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Moscow believes that the May 11 referendums held in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions should be taken as confirmation of the depth of the crisis in Ukraine. «The referendums recently held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine should be perceived as a clear signal to Kiev indicating a deep crisis of mutual understanding, [a crisis] of Ukraine’s own statehood in the broad sense of the word,» the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and head of the European Union Delegation to Russia, Vygaudas Usackas.

Grigory Karasin described the EU’s continuing sanctions policy against Russia as an outdated, overused approach that fails to help resolve serious political problems, but only serves to deepen disagreements further and hampers the joint search for a way out of the really critical situation in Ukraine,» the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The issues of Ukraine’s state system should be discussed prior to the presidential election to be held in the country on May 25, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

«Moscow expects that, in accordance with the Geneva agreements of April 17 and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) roadmap given by [Swiss President, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office] Didier Burkhalter, that our EU and US partners will use their influence on the current Kiev authorities so that issues of the state system and respect of regions’ rights are discussed in the short term, prior to the election scheduled for May 25,» the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, Interfax reports.

The crisis in Ukraine can’t be resolved, while the Ukrainian government refuses to hold a dialogue with citizens of the southeastern regions of the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

Radicals, army and heavy weapons were used in Ukraine to disrupt referendums, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

«The turnout was high despite attempts to disrupt the vote, including attempts to do so using ultra-radical militants, the army and heavy weapons against civilians. There were casualties,» Sergei Lavrov said, commenting on Sunday’s referendums in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions after talks with his Ugandan counterpart Sam Kutesa.

The roadmap for Ukraine, prepared by the OSCE chairman, has not been unveiled due to positions held by Washington and Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

«We are convinced that this must be done as soon as possible. It’s a pity that some people in Washington and Kiev are against including [Ukrainian] the regions in dialogue. That’s why, despite our readiness, the roadmap prepared by the OSCE chairman, has not been unveiled,» he said.

This is further proof of Kiev’s failure to «realize the need to engage in dialogue with its own people,» Lavrov said.

Lavrov said he had heard Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia and White House spokesman Jay Carney saying that it was necessary to continue negotiations on Ukraine in the quadripartite format including the United States, the European Union, Russia and Kiev.

The OSCE proposals on Ukraine envisage the launch of a national dialogue along with investigations into crimes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

«I am not sure it can be done in the near future, but we believe it is extremely necessary to call for a national dialogue on the basis of the proposals elaborated by the OSCE chairman,» Lavrov said after meeting with his Ugandan counterpart Sam Kutesa in Moscow on Monday.

«This needs to be done simultaneously with investigations into the crimes that have been committed. It is also envisioned by the ‘roadmap,’ which is promoted by the Swiss chairmanship,» the minister said.

«No new meetings on Ukraine have been planned as of yet but we would like the efforts to continue, without slowing down, and shortly materialize into a certain process, because another meeting in the quadripartite format is not quite promising,» Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, according to Interfax.

Efforts to settle the Ukrainian crisis will go nowhere without the participation of opponents of the Kiev authorities in the dialogue, Lavrov added, TASS reports.

Russia calls for Ukrainian settlement principles agreed upon in Geneva to be realised in practical actions, Lavrov said.

«All key players agreed that main principles of settlement (in Ukraine) were agreed upon at Geneva talks on April 17 and now it is needed not to recur past events, but translate these principles in practical actions that conflicting parties should take,» the Russian top diplomat said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier are calling for direct dialogue between the Kiev regime and its opponents.

«Nothing will work without involving the opponents of the regime in a direct dialogue on solutions to the crisis, and the people I have talked to, including US Secretary of State John Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who call for the use of the Geneva principles in a direct dialogue between the Ukrainian parties,» Lavrov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described as «an utter lie» the statement on the Donetsk People’s Republic, which Facebook postings said he allegedly made.

«What you have quoted as part of my statement is a direct, utter and brazen lie,» the Russian foreign minister said at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

«I know that lies and half-truths — which are even worse than lies — are being actively used during the Ukrainian crisis by both the Ukrainian figures who have seized power in Kiev, and by their Western patrons. But they have never gone down to such a crude lie is this one before,» Lavrov said.

«It looks like the mere silencing of facts is no longer sufficient for them — the truth finally makes its way into the open after all,» he said.

«Much credit for this must be given to Russian journalists’ intensive activity in very uneasy conditions, sometimes at a risk to their lives,» Lavrov said.

Journalists read out at a press conference a statement, attributed to Lavrov, which describes the Donetsk People’s Republic as «a terrorist organization that does not represent the interests of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine.» The fake statement also says that, «Russia will never recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic’s independence.»