Ukraine not an 'East-West battleground', says Kerry

"This is not a zero-sum game, it is not a West versus East, it should not be. It is not Russia or the United States or other choices," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Ukraine not an 'East-West battleground', says Kerry

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United States and United Kingdom on Tuesday denied that the ouster of Ukraine’s former President after months of anti-government protests is a “zero-sum” game between the West and Russia.

"This is not a zero-sum game, it is not a West versus East, it should not be. It is not Russia or the United States or other choices," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before participating in a panel discussion at the State Department with his U.K. counterpart, William Hague.

"This is about the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians making their choice about their future," said Kerry.

The U.K. Foreign Secretary agreed with Kerry and spoke about the need for Ukraine to be supported.

"This is a country that needs financial assistance from many sources, including from Russia. It's not about pulling them away from Russia. It's about enabling them to make their own choices," said Hague.

The Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea is set to convene for an “extraordinary session” Wednesday, during which independence from Ukraine may be discussed, according to the legislature’s speaker, Vladimir Konstantinov.

Both Hague and Kerry said their governments oppose the partition or division of the country.

"We want to send our strong support for the territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine,” said Hague.

Russian FM urges Council of Europe to take balanced approach

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the Council of Europe's head Thorbjorn Jagland to take a 'balanced approach' to the political crisis in Ukraine, in a phonecall Tuesday.

According to a statement by Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov said resolutions were taken which violate language freedom of Russians and other minorities living in the country, pointing out these resolutions contadicted with the European Council's norms.

On the other hand, Grigory Karasin, the deputy foreign minister of Russia, is said to have met with Ukraine's Ambassador in Moscow Vladimir Elchenco to discuss the security of Russians in Ukraine.

A Russian delegation from the Federation Council, the upperhouse of Russia, will pay an official three-day visit to Ukraine, according to Russia's official news agency Ria-Novosti.

The delegation also plans to visit Crimea to evaluate the latest situation in south Ukraine, and it will meet with various political groups and representatives of Russian soldiers.

Igor Morozov, a member of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, said the delegation's visit would put forward Russia's serious stance in regard to protecting its nationals.

Bolstering relations with Crimea is among the primary issues for the visit, said Mozorov.

"Many Russian nationals in Crimea that believes in Russia's assistance voice concern over the incidents in Ukraine," he said.

EU to cooperate with IMF

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Tuesday that the EU would cooperate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide financial support to Ukraine to rebuild its economy after months of protests.

Ashton said in a press conference in Ukraine's capital Kiev that the IMF was also ready for financial cooperation with the newly formed government.

She also indicated that the EU plans to provide short- and long-term loans to Ukraine to help manage the country’s economic challenges.

EU officials also met with the country's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine and ways out of the crisis, according to a press release from Ukraine's opposition party Batkivshchyna, which Tymoshenko leads.

Andry Klyuyev, recently impeached President Victor Yanukovych’s chief of staff, was shot and wounded on Tuesday, said Ukraine news agency Interfax.

Last Mod: 26 Şubat 2014, 09:09
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