News / Europe

Ukraine Envoy Defiant but Hopeful About Outcome of Talks

Yurii Klymenko, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, attends a news conference on the situation in Ukraine at the United Nations in Geneva, April 15, 2014.
Yurii Klymenko, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, attends a news conference on the situation in Ukraine at the United Nations in Geneva, April 15, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
— A Ukrainian envoy says he is hopeful four-way Ukraine talks in Geneva Thursday will deter further Russian military aggression in his country.  But he warns Ukraine will do whatever it takes to protect its territory if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve this standoff.  

Foreign ministers from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine are to hold crisis talks Thursday in an effort to prevent the standoff between Russia and Ukraine from spiraling out of control.  

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Yurii Klymenko says it will not be easy to restore stability in his country, nor to get Russia to back off from its territorial designs.  But he says he believes the talks could find a way to work toward a peaceful settlement.  

The ambassador said the issue of the Federalization of Ukraine is not on the agenda, adding that his government is committed to decentralization, to granting more power to the different regions.  But Klymenko said the government opposes Russia’s demand Ukraine become a federalized state, which is seen as a ploy by Moscow to weaken the role of the central government in Kyiv.  

“This meeting will not consider the issues pertaining to the internal affairs of Ukraine, but measures for the escalation of pressures on the borders of Ukraine, as well as ways for resuming trade and economic relations between Ukraine and Russia based on mutually profitable market principles," he said.  "Ukraine is persistently opposing efforts by Moscow to disrupt Geneva talks under any concocted pretext.” 

According to the ambassador, Ukraine considers negotiations as the only option for settling conflict.  But he told VOA if Russia continues its aggressive actions, Ukraine is ready to use all means of self defense, according to article 51 of the UN Charter, which gives states the right to take up arms. 

“If there will be any aggression, a blatant aggression against Ukraine, against its Eastern and southern regions, so Ukraine will use its right of self-defense," he warned.  "I am telling you as a diplomat...  Not only the Ukrainian army will defend the country, but every Ukrainian will defend its motherland.” 

The foreign ministers hope their combined diplomatic effort Thursday will succeed in breaking the logjam between Moscow and Kyiv.  But if there is no breakthrough, the United States and European Union have threatened to impose more economic sanctions on Russia.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid