Germany suggested new Geneva talks between Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and the US, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov immediately dismissed any chance of another meeting after Ukraine refused to allow the pro-Russian forces to participate.
Russia claims Ukraine voided the Geneva agreement from April 17 by using their army even though the agreement does not say Ukraine cannot use the army to reclaim the cities. Russia even called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in response, but the majority of the countries sided with Ukraine and said the country has every right to defend itself.
Russia still disagrees with the West.
“The army should not intervene in the political process,” he said, urging an end to its deployment against insurgents as a starting point to any settlement of the crisis.
Lavrov, speaking outside a foreign ministers’ meeting of the 47-nation Council of Europe, said a follow-up round would not “have any added value” unless representatives of the rebels are also invited.
“Those who protest … want their voices heard,” he told reporters. “They want to have an equal voice when it comes to deciding the fate of their own country.”
Ukraine has offered the pro-Russian forces many times they would receive amnesty if they put down their weapons. Ukraine reiterated the offer at the emergency UN meeting, too.
Ukraine is holding presidential elections on May 25 and the “People’s Donetsk Republic” is planning on holding a referendum on Sunday, May 11. Russia has spoken against the presidential election, but did not speak out against the Donetsk referendum. In fact, Russian observers said they will be in Donetsk to witness the votes.