Kyiv, 7 April 2014, Ukraine Crisis Media Center – Commenting on the events in the east of Ukraine, acting Foreign Minister Deshchytsya said that Russia has no intention to send its troops to the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, as was repeatedly stated by the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Ukrainian government is very serious about normalizing the situation in these regions, and the First Vice-Prime Minister together with the heads of the Security Service and the National Security and Defense Council have departed to those regions for that purpose.
Acting Minister also outlined Ukraine’s achievements at the international arena. For instance, he participated in meetings of Ukraine-NATO Commission and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, both of which adopted documents to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine. A CoE Parliamentary Assembly meeting will be held later this week where Ukraine will be represented by the Minister of Justice. Also, last week a discussion took place aimed at returning the Scythian Gold collection which is currently stored in the Netherlands. Meetings were held between the Foreign Ministry representatives and the Dutch Ministry of Culture to return the Ukrainian historical heritage objects after the end of the exhibition in late May.
Mr. Deshchytsya said that negotiations are underway with international organizations providing assistance to Ukraine, including the European Union, in order to further coordinate such assistance.
Commenting on the statement made by the Russian Prime Minister Medvedev regarding the sanctions that may be imposed if Ukraine joins the free trade zone or withdraws from the CIS, Mr. Deshchytsya emphasized that Ukraine is ready to cooperate with Russia in accordance with WTO principles, on equal partnership basis. “The use of political pressure or intimidation of manufacturers will not have any positive effect on cooperation,” assured acting Minister. As regards the fact that Ukraine introduced visa policy rules regarding the duration of stay for Russian citizens, it only mirrors the rules previously introduced by Russia in relation to Ukrainian citizens.
Mr. Deshchytsya also called on Ukrainian manufacturers to raise their standards to the WTO level, because starting May 15 the European market will be opened and tariffs and barriers will be lifted.
“Ukraine does not recognize the denunciation of the Kharkiv Accords as well as all treaties regarding the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. We are currently preparing to file lawsuits in international courts to vindicate and protect our rights, including the European Court of Human Rights, the International Court of Arbitration in Stockholm, the UN International Court of Justice (a lawsuit regarding the breach of treaties between Ukraine and Russia), and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (a lawsuit regarding the seizure of Ukrainian ships in Crimea). This is a whole range of lawsuits, and we are currently preparing documents and collecting evidence of violation of our rights,” said Andriy Deshchytsya.