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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Ukraine Crisis: US-Russia & European Union Agree on Pact
Apr 19, 2014

The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union reached an agreement in Geneva on 17 April that calls for armed pro-Russian bands to give up the government buildings they have seized in eastern Ukraine and outlines other steps to de-escalate the crisis.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry described the package of measures as an important first step to avert a complete and total implosion in eastern Ukraine and said that it could be followed by negotiation of more far-reaching steps to ease a crisis in which violence seemed to be growing by the day.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergy V. Lavrov said the deal was largely based on compromise and that a settlement of the crisis was primarily the responsibility of Ukraine’s. But the US President Barack Obama sounded a cautious note, “I don’t think we can be sure of anything at this point, but there is a chance that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation. We’re not going to know if there is follow through for several days.”

Vasili Domashev, who described himself as an aide to the commandant of a building under occupation in Donetsk, said that since no representative of the newly declared and wholly unrecognized People’s Republic of Donetsk had been invited to the Geneva talks, the republic would not be bound by the decisions made there. Though, Western governments maintain that Russia holds sway over the groups here.

The agreement, described in a joint statement, does not specifically require Russia to remove the approximately 40,000 troops it has on Ukraine’s border, as Barack Obama has demanded. Nor does it commit Russia to holding direct talks with the interim Ukrainian government, which has been another American demand. The agreement also does not mention the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula last month.

The agreement on “initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security” in Ukraine followed more than six hours of talks here that involved John Kerry, his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, and Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief for the European Union.

If militants fail to disarm voluntarily, the 'must be disarmed' clause provides common ground to proactively disarm them. Hopefully it won't come to that.

It calls on all sides in Ukraine to refrain from violence or provocative behaviour and rejects all forms of intolerance, including anti-Semitism, which had emerged as a worry in eastern Ukraine.

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

In recent days, the United States and other Western nations have repeatedly charged that Russian agents had orchestrated the seizure of government buildings in eastern Ukraine. But Rusian President Vladimir Putin denied the allegations and said Russia reserved the right to intervene militarily and Russia has historical claims to parts of eastern Ukraine.

Under the agreement negotiated in Geneva, the Ukrainian government would grant amnesty to protesters who leave the government buildings they have occupied and agree to give up their arms, unless they are suspected of murder or other capital crimes.

International monitors from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 57-nation group that includes Russia, are to play a leading role in helping Ukrainians carry out the de-escalation measures. The agreement says that Ukraine should also ensure that reform of its constitution involves “outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies.” The statement also endorses the importance of economic support to Ukraine.

The measures requiring armed groups to vacate government buildings in eastern Ukraine was singled out by Western officials as an especially significant measure, and the US administration would hold Russia accountable to see that it was carried out. John Kerry said that the responsibility will lie with those who have organized the groups. The United States had made it clear that Russia had a huge impact on all of those forces. He added, “If there is not progress over the course of these next days and we don’t see a movement in the right direction, then there will be additional sanctions, additional costs as a consequence. But we didn’t come here to talk about Crimea.”

While there has been no Russian commitment to withdraw forces from Ukraine’s border on a specific schedule, the Russian side had suggested that the presence would be reduced as the crisis eased.

The purpose of the talk was to bring Ukraine and Russia to the same table with the United States and the European Union participating, and foster a dialougue on political and security issues.

As the talks began, Russia wanted to avoid the perception that it was being uncooperative in the search for a diplomatic solution and, thus, discourage Western nations from imposing new economic sanctions. The US officials have also sought to give Ukraine time to hold its May 25 presidential election without more extensive Russian interference. European nations, for their part, would prefer not to impose wide-ranging economic sanctions, which could hurt trade with Russia. 



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