Kyiv, 15 March 2014 – “Russian Foreign Ministry should not interfere with our country’s affairs. We thoroughly studied Russia’s behavior back at the time of the Georgian conflict. Russia needs to be a bit more creative, we will not rise to the provocation”, said Ukraine’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrii Deshchytsia during a briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“Following the visit of Prime Minister Yatseniuk, we can say we feel the support of the US President, Senate, Congress and even ordinary citizens. 14 out of 15 UN Security Council member countries are ready to pass a UN resolution on Ukraine”, said Mr. Deshchytsia. Negotiations are ongoing with the USA regarding financial assistance.
“We are planning to sign the political part of the EU Association Agreement as early as on March 21”, said acting Foreign Minister. According to him, negotiations are currently underway about creating a free trade area with the EU, and already at this stage the EU is ready to lift trade barriers for Ukrainian goods. Deshchytsia said that he will have a meeting with the NATO secretary on Monday to discuss the date of his arrival to Ukraine.
Mr. Deshchytsia also expressed Foreign Ministry’s official standpoint on the referendum in Crimea: “We do not recognize the referendum in Crimea. More and more countries are arriving at the conclusion that Russia will be held liable if it recognizes this referendum.”
“We want to invite as many military observers as possible to Crimea and to the southeastern regions of Ukraine”, he said, “We are ready for a dialog with the legitimate government of Crimea, but only at a table, not at gunpoint.”
Mr. Deshchytsia said Ukraine is open to a full-fledged dialog with Russia, but any attempts to establish contact with the Russian government have failed so far.
This year Ukraine will chair the CIS. “Withdrawal from the CIS is not on the agenda”, assured Mr. Deshchytsia, “However, certain countries, including Russia, are now trying to sabotage the agreements about holding an economic meeting in Kyiv. A question arises as to how effective Ukraine’s chairmanship will be in the CIS”, said acting Foreign Minister.
Andriy Deshchytsia is a Ukrainian diplomat, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine since 27 February, 2014, Special Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for Conflict Resolution since 2012.