Geneva Statement on Ukraine : Reactions.


Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis

© photocredit

Gazprom, Türkiye’ye verdiği gazın fiyatında indirime gitmeyi planlamıyor

Rusya Güney Akım Projesi’ne devam ediyor

Crimea: whose land is this?

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The following Joint Statement was released by the United States, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia.

The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism.

All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes.

It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days. The U.S., E.U. and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors.

The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable. It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments.

The participants underlined the importance of economic and financial stability in Ukraine and would be ready to discuss additional support as the above steps are implemented. Geneva Statement on the situation in Ukraine

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UN welcomes initial talks in Geneva to defuse Ukraine crisis

17 April 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he was encouraged by the initial round of diplomatic negotiations on the crisis in Ukraine held in Geneva, but stressed that all sides need to follow up words with deeds as the situation remains ‘extremely volatile.’

According to press reports, Ukraine and Russia, backed by representatives of United States and the European Union, agreed today to a series of steps to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine that reportedly include demobilizing militias and vacating seized Government buildings.

In a. statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was “encouraged” that all parties were able to agree on a number of concrete and urgent steps aimed at de-escalating the situation and finding a peaceful resolution to this crisis.

“He expects all sides, moving forward, to show their serious intention to continue to engage, in a good-faith effort, and to implement the steps laid out in the Geneva Statement, which will contribute to a lasting solution to this crisis,” according to the statement.

Mr. Ban “has consistently underscored that constructive and results-oriented dialogue between all concerned will be the only way to achieve a peaceful solution,” his spokesperson said.

Briefing the Security Council yesterday, a senior United Nations human rights official urged steps to counter misinformation and bring to an end all incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence.

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic, who briefed on his two missions to the crisis-torn country in March, emphasized the strong links between chronic human rights violations in Ukraine, the Maidan protests and the tensions in the eastern part of the country.

This past weekend, tensions flared in eastern Ukraine as Lugansk, Kharkiv and Donetsk and at least 5 other cities in the region were targeted by uprisings and the seizure of Government buildings. Source.

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Remarks by the President Obama during a press conference.

Q It sounds like there’s been some development in the Ukraine talks in Geneva. I’m just wondering if you could describe your level of confidence in what this agreement is and how you can be sure that Russia will follow through, given some of the remarks from President Putin this morning.

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think we can be sure of anything at this point. I think there is the possibility, the prospect that diplomacy may deescalate the situation and we may be able to move towards what has always been our goal, which is let the Ukrainians make their own decisions about their own lives.

There was a meeting in Geneva — representatives of the Ukrainian government, the Russian government, the EU, as well as the United States. It was a lengthy, vigorous conversation. My understanding is, is that the Ukrainian Prime Foreign** Minister gave a detailed and thorough presentation about the reforms that they intend to introduce, including reforms that provide assurances for Ukrainians who live in eastern and southern Ukraine that they will be fully represented, that their rights will be protected, that Russian speakers and Russian natives in Ukraine will have the full protection of the law. And my understanding, based on what I’ve heard, is that there was an acknowledgement within the meeting that the Ukrainian government in Kyiv had gone out of its way to address a range of the concerns that may have existed in southern and eastern Ukraine.

There was a promising public statement that indicated the need to disarm all irregular forces and militias and groups that have been occupying buildings. There was an offer of amnesty to those who would willingly lay down their arms, evacuate those buildings, so that law and order could be restored in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The Russians signed on to that statement. And the question now becomes will, in fact, they use the influence that they’ve exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election, move forward with the decentralization reforms that they’ve proposed, stabilize their economy, and start getting back on the path of growth and democracy and that their sovereignty will be respected.

We’re not going to know whether, in fact, there’s follow-through on these statements for several days. And so today I spoke with Chancellor Merkel; later on in the day I’m going to be speaking to David Cameron. We’re going to be consulting with our European allies. Over the last week, we have put in place additional consequences that we can impose on the Russians if we do not see actual improvement of the situation on the ground. And we are coordinating now with our European allies.

My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days. But I don’t think given past performance that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

If, in fact, we do see improvements, then that will obviously be a positive. In the meantime, we’re going to make sure that we continue to help the Ukrainian government — working with the IMF, the Europeans and others — to stabilize their economy and to start reforming it. We’re going to continue to work with our NATO allies to make sure that they are assured that we’re going to meet our Article 5 obligations and that they are secure.

And as I’ve said before — I think I had an interview with Major yesterday in which I mentioned this whole exercise by the Russians is not good for Russia either. There are, I think, a number of articles today indicating the degree to which an economy that was already stuck in the mud is further deteriorating because of these actions.

And in my conversations with President Putin, I’ve emphasized the same thing, that we have no desire to see further deterioration of the Russian economy. On the other hand, we are going to continue to uphold the basic principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity for all countries; and that there’s a way for Ukraine to be independent, to be sovereign, and to have positive relationships with both the West and the East, with both its European neighbors and its Russian neighbors. And that’s our primary concern. Source.

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Didier Reynders satisfait de l’accord sur l’Ukraine

Le Vice-Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères Didier Reynders se réjouit de l’accord trouvé hier à Genève entre l’UE, l’Ukraine, les Etats-Unis et la Russie.

Les parties doivent maintenant mettre en œuvre leurs engagements. Ceci implique une poursuite de la désescalade et le désarmement des divers groupes armés. Les prochaines élections prévues le 25 mai pourront ainsi être préparées. Selon le Ministre Reynders, le dialogue national et la révision de la constitution représentent aussi des éléments importants pour garantir la stabilité en Ukraine.

Le Ministre promet l’appui de la Belgique au sein de l’UE et de l’OSCE en vue de la mise en œuvre de cet accord. Toutes les parties concernées, tant en Ukraine qu’à l’extérieur, doivent user de leur influence pour exécuter cet accord. Selon le Ministre Reynders, il doit être mis fin immédiatement aux actes insurrectionnels, à l’exercice d’influences extérieures, à la violence armée et aux occupations de bâtiments publics.

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Didier Reynders tevreden met akkoord Oekraïne

Vicepremier en minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Didier Reynders is tevreden met het akkoord dat gisteren in Genève werd bereikt tussen de EU, Oekraïne, de VS en Rusland.

Nu moeten de partijen de afspraken uitvoeren. Dat betekent verdere de-escalatie en ontwapening van de verschillende gewapende groepen. Zo kunnen de komende verkiezingen op 25 mei voorbereid worden. Ook nationale dialoog en de herziening van het grondwet zijn volgens minister Reynders belangrijke elementen om de stabiliteit in Oekraïne te garanderen.

De minister zegt de steun toe van België binnen de EU en de OVSE voor de uitvoering van dit akkoord. Alle betrokkenen en partijen, zowel binnen als buiten Oekraïne, moeten hun invloed gebruiken om dit akkoord uit te voeren. Oproer, externe beïnvloeding, wapengeweld en illegale bezetting van overheidsgebouwen moeten volgens minister Reynders meteen worden stopgezet. Source.

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DPM and FM Venizelos’ statement on the agreement reached at the quadrilateral meeting on Ukraine

18 Apr, 2014 – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos made the following statement on behalf of the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union:

The points agreed on in Geneva are an important first step toward de-escalating the situation and shaping the conditions for overcoming the crisis in Ukraine.

What is important now is the conscientious implementation of everything agreed upon, so that a climate of trust and a sense of security can be restored on all levels. Source.

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Außenminister Steinmeier zu den Genfer Gesprächen

Der Frieden ist noch nicht gewonnen in der Ukraine, und wir sind noch lange nicht am Ziel. Aber die Chance ist zurück, dass eine Spaltung der Ukraine vermieden wird und dass alle Regionen der Ukraine an der wirtschaftlichen und politischen Zukunft des Landes arbeiten.

Das Ergebnis von Genf verdient Respekt. Die Außenminister der Ukraine, Russlands, der USA und die EU-Außenbeauftragte haben konkrete, praktische Schritte zur Deeskalation vereinbart. Die Gesprächspartner haben sich auf einen Gewaltverzicht, die Entwaffnung illegaler Gruppen, die Räumung besetzter Gebäude und eine Straffreiheit verständigt. Die OSZE als unabhängiger Beobachter unmittelbar vor Ort soll bei der Umsetzung eine führende Rolle spielen.

Ein wichtiger Schritt ist getan. Aber der Lackmustest kommt. Jetzt muss bewiesen werden, dass die Verabredungen von Genf nicht ein Stück Papier bleiben, sondern Politik verändern. Auswärtige

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Foreign Secretary welcomed the agreed steps to de-escalate the current Ukraine crisis.

I welcome the commitments made in the Geneva talks today. The steps contained in the joint agreement offer a route for de-escalation.

But rapid implementation of the agreement is critical, particularly the commitments by Russia that all illegally armed groups must be disarmed, all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners, and all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

The OSCE Monitoring Mission, which is already deployed on the ground, will have an essential role in verifying the implementation of this agreement.

I also welcome the commitment to a transparent, inclusive constitutional process and national dialogue. It is for the Ukrainians themselves to decide how their country is governed. The elections on 25 May are a crucial first step and all parties should commit to allowing these elections to proceed peacefully so that Ukraine’s citizens can freely express their democratic wishes. William Hague

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Deconstructing the results of the four-party talks
Alexander_MERCOURIS

By Alexander MERCOURIS – Fri, Apr 18, 2014 – As its text makes clear what this document is in reality is not an an agreement to settle the Ukrainian crisis or even an outline of such an agreement but rather a statement of basic principles around which an agreement should be negotiated. The real agreement (if it comes about) will emerge from negotiations based on the principles set out in this document.

A number of points:

1. Kiev’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding, the statement that “all sides must refrain from all violence, intimidation and provocative actions” clearly rules out the “anti terrorist operation” in the eastern Ukraine that Kiev launched on Sunday;

2. As Lavrov has correctly pointed out the provisions in the third paragraph that require the disarmament and dissolution of armed groups is clearly intended to refer as much to Right Sector and the Maidan Self Defence Force as it does to the protesters in the east. Note specifically that the statement calls for a general amnesty except for those who have committed capital crimes (ie. murder). So far no protesters in the east have murdered anyone. Even Kiev admits that none of its soldiers have so far been killed. The same obviously cannot be said of Right Sector and of the Maidan Self Defence Force even if one disregards their likely responsibility for the sniper killings in Kiev on 20th February 2014; Full analysis.

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Europe Looks On as Russia Marches Into Ukraine

judy_dempsey

by Judy Dempsey Thursday, April 17, 2014 – Europe is becoming increasingly wobbly over Ukraine. When EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg on April 14–15, they postponed imposing tougher sanctions against the Kremlin.

Some countries, notably Germany, Spain, and Italy, argued that now was not the right time. They feared that additional sanctions would jeopardize talks between the United States, the EU, Ukraine, and Russia on the Ukraine crisis to be held in Geneva on April 17.

But when is the right time to take further action as Russia grabs more bits of Eastern Ukraine? Surely, much tougher sanctions would have been the right response to show Europe’s spunk and

The EU’s weakness confirms that European governments, collectively, have neither the courage nor the strategic foresight to see what is happening on their borders. Nor do they have the conviction to defend their values and principles. Instead, it is national interests that are dictating the EU’s attitude toward Russia. That surely suits Russia, as it will undermine any further drive toward European integration.

Yet a stronger and more united Europe is needed more than ever before if European governments are to stop Putin from forcibly changing even more borders. He did the same thing in 2008 during a short war in Georgia. The EU and NATO failed to learn anything from that episode.(…)

With such an appalling lack of determination, soft power has failed to deter Putin. As a result, Putin has a free hand to change Ukraine’s borders, the consequences of which will soon come to haunt Europe. Full analysis.

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Hiding the US-NATO military overkill

By Will Hart – 18.04.2014 – As with politics and social reality and actually just about everything else perception – about America´s military spending, capabilities and relative strength – is often more important than knowing the underlying facts involved.

Americans are routinely conditioned by the lobbyists of the military-industrial complex, mass media and the hawks in congress, to believe that our defense expenditures are barely adequate to keep up with the rest of the world; we seldom if ever sit down and examine the facts in a stone-cold, sober fashion for ourselves.

(It is in that context that the NY Times felt it could get away with such an obvious slap in the face to the easily obtained truth.)

The facts are indeed sobering: America has spent about 40% of the total, annual global expenditures on defense, by all countries, for the past decade. In fact, in 2012, the US spent about $600 billion on its military according to the OMB- could that be why we are $17 trillion in debt?

Now, how does that compare to the defense expenditures of Russia and China? The shocking truth is that those two alleged threats to US security (hegemony?) only spent about $200 billion, China a little more than half of it, or one-third of what America did.

Moreover the Pentagon had more in its budget than the next ten nations combined!

That means that either Eisenhower was absolutely right, and we have failed to heed his warning, or we are for our Superpower status and what it costs. In reality, most Americans probably just assimilate the propaganda dispensed by the mainstream media (as the Times editors we aware), then stay indifferent to the Big Picture in Rome, and change the channels…

Those realities aside, beyond the simple annual defense budgets, there are the matters of capabilities and readiness. Here too, the uninformed are in for some shocks. If you are thinking that Russia and China pose a real military threat, especially if they joined forces, consider the following facts. Full analysis.

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One size to fit all? Setting standards for European defence

Daniel_Fiott

by Daniel Fiott – While the crisis in Ukraine may contribute to a revision of defence expenditures in a number of European countries, the task of finding the right balance between cost-effective and strategically-relevant defence spending in Europe is still critical. As defence expenditure generally remains in decline across Europe, a range of innovative measures to ensure that defence budgets are spent more efficiently and effectively are being devised.

One such measure – being pursued by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Commission – is the greater standardisation of defence equipment in the European Union. Yet the European defence market is fragmented, paradoxically resulting in higher costs for national treasuries. At present, it is characterised by a plethora of national standards: national defence establishments and industries have become used to catering for their own military needs. Download document

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