Lavrov: Ukrainian crisis escalation will have adverse impacts on entire Europe

Lavrov: Ukrainian crisis escalation will have adverse impacts on entire Europe | Русская весна

Further escalation of the Ukrainian crisis will have adverse impact both on Ukraine and the entire system of European security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday at a session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Further escalation of the political crisis in Ukraine, "radicals in Kiev and a number of other capitals are seeking to instigate would have the most negative impacts on both Ukraine and the entire system of European security," he said.

"Conflict settlement prospects depend on proper fulfilment by the sides of the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 that were approved by the United Nations Security Council," he said.

"It is necessary to spare no effort to have Kiev establish direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, immediately lift inhumane economic blockade, carry out amnesty, conduct inclusive constitutional, court and other reforms in Ukraine," Lavrov stressed. "The Venice Commission and the Council in Europe in general must hold its ground on those matters."

"We expect further concrete results of the efforts of an international consultative group set up under the Council of Europe’s auspices to promote the investigation of crimes in Ukraine, including those committed in Maidan and in Odessa," the Russian top diplomat said.

"We commend the establishment of Council of Europe’s centres for assistance in the area of local self-government in all of Ukraine’s regions," he noted. "With support and coordination of the Committee of Ministers, their activities might make a solid contribution to the democratization of Ukrainian society." The minister asked the secretary general of the Council of Europe to see to it that these centres were guided by Ukraine’s decentralization liabilities committed to paper in the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 at Germasny’s and France’s initiative.

"In a broader sense, it is important that Ukraine keeps all of its liabilities under the Charter, conventions and other legal acts adopted within the Council of Europe," Lavrov stressed.

Russia calls for depoliticised dialogue with EU to resolve acute problems

In his speech at a session of the Council of Europe's ministerial committee, Lavrov said: "We consider today’s meeting as an opportunity to discuss steps we need to take for an effective response to modern challenges."

"Unfortunately, there are still many of them," Lavrov told the meeting in Brussels. The text of his speech was published on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Russia’s top diplomat took special note in his speech of a recent report on state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law presented by Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe. The report entitled A Shared Responsibility for Democratic Security in Europe has shown that "problems are much more serious and their geography is broader than it has been considered before", Lavrov said.

He stressed that Moscow urged a depoliticised dialogue to seek solutions to acute problems remaining across the European continent. "We should stay focused on such disturbing issues as manifestations of neo-Nazism, remaining statelessness, racial discrimination and its attendant intolerance, and more recently also attempts to justify anti-constitutional coups d’etat and to turn a blind eye to chauvinistic slogans and calls for ethnic cleansing," the diplomat said.

Lavrov also said that Russia was committed to the task of creating a common humanitarian and economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific while ensuring equal and indivisible security for all countries. He noted "an increasingly important role" of the Strasbourg-based Council, the oldest Europe-wide political body tasked with upholding rights, democracy and the rule of law across the continent, describing it as "a humanitarian pillar of all-European cooperation".

Russia ready to search for compromises on thorny issues

Lavrov stressed that Russia seeks to advance a positive and uniting agenda in the Council of Europe, ready to search for compromises.

"We are ready for a search for compromises on most difficult matters on the basis of equality, mutual respect and regard for each other’s interests," the foreign minister said.

"We expect that the current session of the CMCE will help to reach progress in the strengthening of mutual trust as an inalienable condition for the unity of Europe and resumption of its progressive development," he said.

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