Five days have passed since the adoption of the Geneva agreements. Immediately after reaching an agreement on initial steps to restore security in the eastern regions of Ukraine, the Government has started to faithfully fulfill them.
We appeal to those citizens who, being provoked by the Russian special services, have chosen to defend their point of view through violence and armed seizures.
Ukrainian authorities are willing to listen to all the legitimate political demands of Ukrainians in the East and the West. And not only listen, but also to meet them. We call on fulfilling the Geneva agreements between Ukraine, the EU, the Russian Federation, and the United States.
The Government has taken practical steps towards implementation of its part of the agreements. The active phase of the counter-terrorist operation has been suspended.
The main task of the Government is to protect civilians from armed gangs. It is in this format Ukrainian police and security forces will work. The Army has the only order – to protect the citizens of Ukraine, as required by law and the military oath. Unfortunately, it is civilians who become victims of criminal visitors and terrorists who are hiding behind political slogans. The latest example - a horrible murder of two people whose bodies were found tortured in Donetsk region. One of these victims was a deputy of the Horlivka city council from "Batkivshchyna" party.
The Government approved and introduced to the Parliament a draft law on amnesty for participants in the riots which would apply to the protesters who will surrender weapons as well as illegally seized administrative buildings, except for those suspected of committing capital crimes, killing and torturing people.
The Government has initiated a constitutional reform, the main idea of which is decentralization of power in the country and empowerment of regions. An extended meeting of the parliamentary constitutional committee involving representatives of all political parties and regions has already been held. A Government decree on conducting a broad public debate of future constitutional changes has been adopted. This process has already been launched, and we call on all those who want to change the existing system of power in Ukraine to join in. We offer a peaceful and legitimate way to do this: to submit one’s proposals on constitutional changes. The Government will listen to them. But even before making changes to the Constitution, we are ready to hear the opinion of residents of the regions about personalities who they see as worthy to lead their regions.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine continue to confiscate illegal arms from the population. The Government is consistently disarming all radical movements, organizations and groups, which are breaking the law. Almost 6000 pieces of firearms have been confiscated already. Atmosphere in the Independence Square and Khreschatyk is absolutely free and safe. No one is persecuted on either ethnic or lingual grounds. Nobody is making any "black lists". Everyone is welcome to come and see.
The Government guarantees the protection and securing of special status for the Russian language. Local communities will determine themselves the extent of the rights they will grant to the Russian or any other language.
The Government strongly condemns all manifestations of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance. The Security Service has already started an investigation on the fact of distribution in Donetsk of anti-Semitic leaflets.
The Parliament coalition invited all political forces to sign a Memorandum of understanding regarding ways to resolve the situation in the East of Ukraine. The Government reminds Ukrainians in all the regions: you have legally elected representatives in the parliament. We appeal to the disaffected in the East: make your MPs work and defend your interests. They have all the legal possibilities to fulfill this goal.
We have taken our initial steps forward. We are waiting for practical actions from those who are illegally holding buildings and hostages.
The Ukrainian Side supports the leading role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in facilitating the immediate implementation of these measures. We are having daily high-level consultations with representatives of the OSCE and the parties to the Geneva agreements, including the level of the Ukrainian Prime Minister, who has today received the head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
The Government also appeals to another party to the Geneva agreements – the Russian Federation. We call on the Russian Side to fulfill its part of the agreements. We call on to withdraw their forces from Ukrainian territory, and draw the attention of the Russian Side to the importance of public dissociation from supporting terrorism and separatism. We call on Russia to urge their protagonists, who are committing illegal acts on the territory of Ukraine, to stop the violence, release the hostages and surrender the seized buildings. We would like to believe that the agreements with Russia would worth the paper they were written on.