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April 15, 2014 12:40

Yatsenyuk's idea of dialogue with southeastern Ukraine is right, albeit belated - Russian foreign minister (Part 2)

BEIJING. April 15 (Interfax) - Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's initiative proposing dialogue with the southeastern regions of the country is a step in the right direction, albeit a belated one, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"As for the initiatives linked with Arseniy Yatsenyuk's recent trip to the southeast and his announcement that the current Kyiv authorities are ready to invite representatives of the southeast to contribute to a constitutional reform and the settlement of all problems concerning the legal demands of residents of Ukraine's southeastern districts through negotiations, it is certainly a step in the right direction, albeit a very belated one," Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Tuesday.

The new authorities came to power in Kyiv a month and a half ago, he said.

"A month and a half has already passed since the coup d'etat. Those who seized power have done nothing. They have not sent any signals to residents of the southeast, except for threats and ultimatums," Lavrov said.

The decision to deploy military units to the southeast of Ukraine in order to suppress the ongoing protests there violates both this country's legislation and international law, the Russian foreign minister said.

By taking such steps the new Ukrainian authorities "deny their own people the right to express their own opinions and protest against illegality and discrimination," Lavrov said.

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