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MOSCOW, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said most of the provisions in Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s peace plan “look like an ultimatum”.
“The point is that all those who disagree with the present authorities and the way they came to power have only several days, a week, to lay down their arms. Otherwise, leave Ukraine and then we may take a look to see whether you have committed grave crimes or not, and if not, then you may be amnestied,” Lavrov is quoted as saying on the Foreign Ministry’s official website on Saturday, June 21.
“That’s not quite what President Poroshenko spoke about at his meetings in Normandy and during his telephone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and how this was presented by the Russian president’s Western partners in recent conversations by phone,” the minister said.
“The plan lacks the key thing - a proposal to start dialogue. This is a drastic departure from the Geneva statement of April 17 which is still supported by all of our Western partners, the United States, the European Union and the Ukrainian authorities or at least they say so,” Lavrov said.
He noted that “the Ukrainian authorities have subscribed to this statement which makes it quite clear that apart from stopping the violence and all forms of extremism, it is necessary to start an inclusive dialogue that should embrace all regions and all political forces in order to come to agreement on the constitution reform”.
“It calls for ‘immediately’ starting the constitutional reform through such dialogue. This is why enough time has passed since April 17, when it was adopted, for the new Ukrainian authorities to state concrete proposals on how such a dialogue, the commencement of which was demanded by the parties to the Geneva statement, can be organised. We haven’t seen anything like that happening yet,” Lavrov said.
“We are very much alarmed and worried by the fact that simultaneously with the announcement of the peace plan, a military operation was stepped up, which resulted in people wounded on the Russian side,” he said. “Russian territory has already been shelled and there is destruction. Some people were injured, as a minimum. We do not know yet how the people injured as a result of mortar attacks will be doing.”
“So I think everyone will be looking at Kiev’s Western sponsors who have assumed responsibility for the coup and the subsequent preparation of the presidential elections,” the minister said. “This responsibility should probably be realised now through concrete steps which will bring the situation back in line with the Geneva statement of April 17 and will make it possible to begin immediately a dialogue on constitutional reform and the resolution of the crisis with the participation of all Ukrainian regions.”
In turn, Irina Yarovaya, Chair of the State Duma said that Poroshenko’s peace plan for the south-east of the country “looks like farce” amid the latest shooting on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
“The peace plan announced by Mr. Poroshenko looks like farce against the background of events on the Russian border,” she said.
“No matter whether the situation has got out of the new Ukrainian president’s control or this is a deliberate provocation, either would indicate that there is no public administration in Ukraine”.
“The fact that Ukrainian border guards have crossed into Russia in order to find shelter from shooting suggests that even Ukrainian army personnel consider Russia a friendly state which is ready to give everyone security and protection,” she stressed.