Russia drops out of meetings with Ukraine on Geneva accord

Russian Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine Andrei Vorobyev said Friday that Russia has notified the OSCE it will no longer meet with Ukraine's foreign ministry regarding implementation of the Geneva Statement signed on April 17. The Russian "embassy sees no point," he said, given the fragile state of the agreement following continued unrest in Ukraine's eastern region.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   May 2, 2014 at 11:54 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, May 2 (UPI) -- Russia revealed Friday that it has notified the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that it will no longer meet with representatives of Ukraine's foreign ministry regarding implementation of the Geneva Statement signed on April 17.

On Friday, Russian Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine Andrei Vorobyev told Interfax-Ukraine News Agency "Following the tragic events that occurred in Sloviansk last night and this morning and increasingly called into question the further viability of the April 17, 2014 Geneva agreements, the embassy sees no point in its representatives attending consultations at the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine."

Ukrainian forces launched an anti-terror operation on Friday to retake the city of Sloviansk. Pro-Russian militants shot down two Ukrainian helicopters, killing two pilots, briefly abducting another pilot, and wounding several people including an emergency responder.

Under the terms of the Geneva accord, Ukraine and Russia agreed that all illegal military entities be disbanded, all occupants of seized buildings disarmed and evacuated, and all protesters granted amnesty.

Since the agreement was reached, however, pro-Russian militants have detained journalists, reportedly abducted OSCE military monitors, Russia continues to amass troops near the border of Ukraine, and the Russian defense ministry ordered military drills along the border as a response to Ukraine's anti-terror operations.

The senior Russian diplomat added that while meetings at Ukraine's foreign ministry will cease, he plans to maintain contact with the head of the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Ertugrul Apakan as well as with the OSCE chairperson's envoy to Kiev and Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine Christian Schoenberger.

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