Russian upper house calls on “constructive forces” in Ukraine to focus on truce

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Interfax – Moscow, February 25, 2015)

Members of the Federation Council have called on constructive forces in Ukraine to concentrate their efforts on implementation of the Minsk agreements and make further efforts to launch a nationwide dialogue.

Federation Council file photo

The Federation Council “fully approves the agreements reached in Minsk by the heads of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany and voices support for the Range of measures to implement the Minsk agreements”, it said in a statement adopted unanimously at a session on Wednesday [25 February].

“Today, the efforts of all constructive forces in and outside Ukraine should be aimed at complete and consistent implementation of the ‘roadmap’. Certain progress achieved after the talks in ‘the Normandy format’ in the city of Minsk, including the cessation of massive fire, the launch of the process of exchanging hostages and illegally detained persons, the start of withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact, gives grounds for optimism,” the statement said.

The chance to reach peace in Ukraine and stop the bloodshed and suffering of millions of people should not be missed. The Federation Council calls on all parties to the internal Ukrainian conflict to “make additional efforts to launch a full-scale nationwide dialogue based on respect of the rights and interests of various national groups and the country’s regions and with the aim of implementing a constitutional reform in Ukraine”.

The senators believe that interparliamentary contacts, both bilateral and multilateral, could also play an additional positive role in this situation.

“The situation in Ukraine remains in the spotlight of global attention. A year has passed since the agreements to carry out a constitutional reform and hold presidential elections were reached on 21 February 2014 with consolidated international support. However, despite these agreements, there was a forcible change of power in clear violation of the constitution, followed by the armed conflict in southeast Ukraine,” the document said.

The denial of “the historical specifics of the Ukrainian state and society, the poorly thought-out consequences of the policy of forced plantation of the so-called ‘Ukrainianship’ in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking regions, the refusal to give the Russian language a legal status reflecting its actual use in the east and southeast of Ukraine and also to extend the rights of Ukrainian regions” played a fatal role in the escalation of the conflict, the Federation Council said.

According to the document, Ukraine is undergoing the most acute political and socio-economic crisis, whereas its society retains all signs of “a deep split whose causes are of the ideological, moral and ethnic nature. Millions of Ukrainians are now outside the country having fled the civil war that led to numerous casualties and destruction of houses and infrastructure”.

“The Ukrainian conflict has no military solution and there are no reasons that would thwart its settlement in the course of talks, provided all the parties have the necessary will with due account of principles and norms of the international law,” the document said.

At the same time, the senators expressed their readiness to actively participate in such contacts.

In conclusion, the Federation Council deems “the measures being taken by the Russian president and the government, as well as political parties and Russian civil society structures, to provide social support and humanitarian aid to people that were hit by deprivation and shortage of necessities, to be fully adequate to the current situation.”

[featured image is file photo]