Russia urges Ukraine not to use force

Russia urges Ukraine not to use force

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:09:44 GMT

Moscow has urged Kiev not to use force against protesters who have declared independence in Ukraine’s east and south.

In a phone conversation with Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Andrei Deshchytsa, on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the Ukrainian government to respect the “aspirations” of the region’s inhabitants.

“The need to respect the aspirations of the residents of southeastern Ukraine (and) the inadmissibility of the use of force to respond to legal demands (by protesters) to protect their language, culture and socioeconomic rights was emphasized (from the Russian side),” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on the same day.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s interior minister had accused the Kremlin of orchestrating “separatist disorder” in eastern parts of the country, claiming that such moves are a pretext to deploy Russian troops into Ukraine.

This comes as people in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv declared independence from Kiev on Monday following a same move by pro-Russians in Donetsk.

Protesters announced the formation of the Independent People’s Republic of Kharkiv outside the regional administration building.

Some 50 percent of the region’s inhabitants are ethnic Russians that believe Ukraine’s acting authorities are nationalists who will repress Russians.

Moreover, people in the eastern city of Donetsk declared their independence and formation of the People’s Republic of Donetsk.

They demanded a referendum on joining Russia to be held by May 11.

The head of General Administration of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Donetsk region, Roman Mykolayovych Romanov, who is in charge of 16,000 security forces, also defected to the new pro-Russian authorities.

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