Ukraine approves directives for Geneva talks

Kiev, April 16: The Ukrainian cabinet has approved the negotiating guidelines for the four-party talks in Geneva on the country’s crisis, acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya said here Wednesday.

The main objective, which Kiev planned to put on the agenda, is the de-escalation of situation in the eastern Ukraine, Xinhua quoted Deshchytsya as saying.

During the negotiations, Kiev would ask Moscow to “stop fomenting pro-Russia unrest” in Ukraine and pull its troops away from the common border, Deshchytsya said.

Ukraine would also seek cancellation of the Russian parliament’s decisions on the accession of the Crimea peninsula and on the deployment of Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine, he said.

If Russia pulled out of the Geneva meeting, Ukraine was ready for three-way negotiations with the US and the European Union (EU), Deshchytsya said.

The crisis talks between Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine, scheduled for Thursday, aim to establish direct dialogue between Kiev and Moscow and find the ways out the tension in eastern Ukraine.

The unrest in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east came after Russia absorbed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea March 18 after a referendum.

A new wave of tension erupted in the country’s east over the weekend, as pro-Moscow activists seized several administrative buildings in nearly 10 eastern cities, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.