MOSCOW, April 18. ITAR-TASS
“I think Europe has finally come to understand that there is no and there will be no going back. They understand that it is rather pointless to discuss the Crimean problem with us, although this issue will remain a point of contention in our relations,” he told the Rossiya 24 television channel.
“Many were inclined to think that this meeting would be doomed to failure,” Chizhov noted. “The fact that we managed to agree on the document is a big success, which opens the way for further work. The work at the Geneva meeting is not over, it will be continued with active participation of Russian diplomacy,” he said.
Geneva agreement on deescalation of crisis in Ukraine
The term ‘constructive ambiguity’ cannot be applied to Geneva statement on Ukraine, Chizhov said, commenting on various interpretations of the agreements reached in Thursday’s Geneva negotiations on Ukraine.
“The statement rather clearly states what the Kiev authorities should do,” he said. “Kiev is insisting on disarming eastern regions and ignores what is going on in western regions and in the capital,” he added.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will expand its mission in Ukraine and increase its financing, Chizhov said.
“Participants in the Geneva meeting agreed that control over the implementation of agreements in Ukrainian cities will be vested with the OSCE monitoring mission, which is already working in Ukraine and regularly sends its reports to Vienna,” the diplomat explained. “I think the mission will be expanded – more personnel will be sent there and more funds will be allocated. Russia supported the initiative to send this mission. It took much time and effort to agree its mandate.”
Ukraine’s entry restrictions for Russians
Ukrainian authorities’ decision to ban entry into the country for some categories of Russian citizens “has revealed hostility towards the nationals of Russia and, on top of that, a bureaucratic mess,” Chizhov said.
“This doesn’t justify the Ukrainian authorities by any means,” he said.
As he answered a reporter’s question on the EU’s reaction to the ban, Chizhov expressed hope that there would be a reaction of some kind eventually. “It turned out that Ukraine’s interim acting foreign minister (Andrii Deshchytsia) didn’t even know about the decision.”
“The anti-humanistic nature of the step is further intensified by its timing,” Chizhov said. “It was announced on the eve of the Easter, which all confessions of Christianity celebrate on the same day this year.”