Andriy Deshchytsa: Discussion on Setting up the Contact Group for the Crimean Conflict Settlement Is Underway

Kyiv, March, 8th, 2014 – Andriy Deshchytsa, Ukraine’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that, Ukraine is considering participation in the contact group for the Crimean conflict settlement.  The group would include initiators’ representatives along with representatives from Ukraine and Russia.

“This is a fragile option, but we are ready to take part in the discussion. Our priority is a peaceful settlement of the Crimean conflict” – stated Mr. Deshchytsa, during the press briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Commenting on the negotiation process with Russian colleagues, Mr. Deshchytsa stated that “Ukraine has leverages, and we are full-pledged player in the negotiation process”.

Mr. Deshchytsa highlighted that Crimea has been, continues to be and will remain the Ukrainian territory. “We will not give up Crimea and will do all possible to protect Ukrainian borders and territorial integrity”.

Mr. Deshchytsa stated regarding the Crimean referendum scheduled for March 16, 2014 the following: “It is illegitimate and will not have any legal implications neither for Crimea, nor for Ukraine, and for the international community”.

Also he asked Russian colleagues not to block decision on UN and OSCE level, in particular regarding sending of international observers to Crimea.

Commenting on the situation in Crimea in comparison with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Mr. Deshchytsa highlighted that scenario in Crimea looks similar, but there is a different reaction on this conflict: “We have wide and clear support of the international community and key international players. Besides, in case with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the document which stopped aggression of Russia was signed only after there were victims. And in our case we have already started the negotiations regarding contact group setting to prevent the aggression”.

Andriy Deshchytsya is a Ukrainian diplomat and politician, The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine starting from 27 February, 2014