News / Europe

Ukraine Says It Supports Dialogue, But Not With 'Terrorists'

Pro-Russian armed separatists guard a street near an administrative building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, May 6, 2014.
Pro-Russian armed separatists guard a street near an administrative building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, May 6, 2014.
Brian Padden
Ukrainian officials Tuesday voiced support for a new round of international negotiations to find a peaceful resolution to the growing conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the county. But officials in Kyiv rejected Russia's latest proposal that pro-Russian rebels also be included in the talks.
 
Despite the expanding military conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists, and the escalating war of words between Russia and the West, diplomacy can still work.
 
That is what Danylo Lubkivsky, Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, thinks.  And he says a clear example of this was the negotiated release of observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who were held by separatists in eastern Ukraine.
 
“It was a good result, a coordinated plan and effort of Ukrainian authorities, [the] OSCE mission, and all international mediators involved.  That's actually a clear example how the Geneva agreement can work and should be implemented, if there is a strong political will,” says Lubkivsky.
 
Ukraine questions Russia's support for any real peace plan and has accused Moscow of supporting separatists in an attempt to destabilize the country ahead of presidential elections scheduled for May 25.
 
Russia has denied the allegations, and says it is Kyiv and the West that have acted in a provocative manner and alienated Russian-speaking Ukrainians.
 
Lubkivsky says Ukraine supports further negotiations with Russia and Western partners to resolve the current crisis.
 
He says Ukraine is adhering to the Geneva agreement reached in April, which called for the disbanding of all private armed militias and for protesters to leave occupied buildings.
 
The separatists in eastern Ukraine refused to comply with this agreement.  They say the Kyiv government continues to allow groups like the Right Sector, the pro-Ukrainian militia, to operate freely and allow nationalist protesters to occupy Maidan Square in the capital.
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says any new international negotiations should include pro-Russian rebels.
 
Lubkivsky says Ukraine is open to increased dialogue or a national unity forum that would include all regions of Ukraine.  However, he says Ukraine draws the line at negotiating with armed separatists, who he calls terrorists.
 
“Let us not mix two things, terrorism and national dialogue. We will fight against terrorism and we will ensure national dialogue in the country,” says Lubkivsky.
 
As diplomats meet in Europe to discuss this crisis, Ukraine's military forces continue to surround separatist strongholds in the eastern part of the country.  Ukraine's Security Service said Tuesday the government is reluctant to attack militants in highly populated areas due to the likelihood of civilian casualties.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs