Russia slams US, says Kiev misinterpreted Geneva deal

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April 18, 2014

News of surprise peace deal between West and Russia, over Ukraine crisis, dampened after Russia’s EU envoy attacked US and said Ukraine misunderstood deal

April 18, 2014

News of surprise peace deal between West and Russia, over Ukraine crisis, dampened after Russia’s EU envoy attacked US and said Ukraine misunderstood deal

Moscow: Russia's envoy to the European Union said the authorities in Kiev had incorrectly interpreted an international deal to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, where rebellions have broken out in Russian-speaking eastern provinces.

"If we are speaking about how the Geneva document is being interpreted in Kiev by the current authorities, then unfortunately they understood this incorrectly," Vladimir Chizhov told the Russian state television Rossiya-24.

"In particularly that it only applies to the eastern and southern provinces and those who are demanding federalism, but it not to Kiev, where (it thinks) everything is legal including the ongoing occupation of Maidan (Independence Square)," he said.

The clarification comes after a surprise announcement earlier on Friday, that Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU reached a surprise deal on de-escalating the worsening Ukrainian crisis.

The agreement reached in Geneva comes as a strong contrast to earlier hawkish comments made by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who left the door open for intervention in Ukraine.

A ban by Kiev on all Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering the Ukrainian territory had also ratcheted up the tensions, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling the measure “disgusting’’.

But after half-a-day of talks, the four parties agreed on steps to “restore security for all citizens”, including a call to disband armed groups that have taken over buildings in Ukraine “illegally’’.

Russia criticizes Washington

Meanwhile, Russia voiced disappointment over the US’ assessment of the deal, saying the threat of new sanctions against Moscow by Washington was "completely unacceptable".

The Foreign Ministry accused U.S. officials of seeking to whitewash what it said was the use of force by the Ukrainian government against protesters in the country's mainly Russian-speaking eastern provinces.

"American officials sounded ultimatums, and tried to threaten us with new sanctions, which is completely unacceptable," the ministry said in a statement.

Thursday's deal called among other things for all illegal armed groups to disarm and end occupations of public buildings in Ukraine's east. Armed pro-Russian separatists dismissed the accord, saying they were not bound by it.

President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers was promising but that Washington and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve.

Moscow described Washington's stance as one-sided and said it was "disappointed" by its remarks after the talks, which seemed to offer the best hope of resolving a confrontation that has dragged relations to their lowest ebb since the Cold War.

"The blame for the Ukrainian crisis and its current aggravation is unreasonably being placed on Russia," the ministry said.

"The American side is once again stubbornly trying to whitewash the current actions of Kiev's authorities, who have embarked on a course for the violent suppression of protesters in the southeast who are expressing their legitimate indignation over the infringements of their rights."


Courtesy: Reuters