EU-US-Ukraine-Russia Negotiations on the Maidan

Written by | Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
@Eubulletin

The EU, US, Ukraine, and Russia are going to hold joint negotiations in the upcoming 10 days to discuss the current situation in Ukraine. US state department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said during a press briefing in Washington on Monday (April 7) that John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, both Secretaries of State, had agreed on talks earlier in the day. She said that US’s Kerry explained to his Russian counterpart that any further attempt to destabilize the Ukraine’s peninsula of Crimea would incur more consequences and costs to Moscow. In any case, ministers of the “quartet” promised they would try to de-escalate the situation.
This pro-de-escalation initiative comes after local government premises in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv were seized by pro-Russian activists and separatists. Trying to repeat Crimea, several armed men in Donetsk proclaimed independence and called for a referendum on secession in mid-May. Moreover, the Donetsk separatists have asked Russian troops to protect them.
Ms Psaki pointed out that the separatist were in fact Russians in disguise as some of those men and officials even did not know that they had seized the opera house in Kharkiv instead of the mayor’s building as they thought. As Ms Psaki noted “when you do not know which one the mayor’s building is, you’re clearly not a local”. She added though that the current events are not enough to widen sanctions on Russia.
Furthermore, the US has said that Russia’s idea to establish a federal structure in Ukraine is not inconceivable if the country agrees. The US’s increasing willingness to find a common ground with Russia is influenced by the attitude of the EU, which is trying to quickly smoothen its mutual relations with Russia. As demonstrated by the Monday’s statement of the European Commission, there are no precise timelines to when the existing sanctions should finish or when and under what conditions eventual new sanctions should be introduced.

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