The first round of talks attended by Ukraine’s political and civic leaders has produced a consensus that Ukraine must remain a united state.
However the separatists were not at the table.
During emotional exchanges at the OSCE brokered meeting in Kyiv it was agreed that further sessions should be held in the rebellious east of the country.
Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said:
“We’ve been told that we don’t want to listen to the people in Donbass. But in order to listen to them weapons must be put down, looting must be stopped and buildings vacated. We’re are then open for a dialogue.”
The Governor of Donetsk region, Serhiy Taruta explained that many people in the east had used the recent referendum ballot as a protest vote against the Kyiv government:
“I’d like to explain that many were brainwashed by external factors such as television and the media. So I would like to ask our Western partners to call on the Russian media stay tolerant and be as objective as possible,” he added.
It was also stressed that a solution to the crisis was needed as soon as possible for the sake of the economy.
In Kyiv, euronews’ reporter Angelina Kariakina said:
“Next sittings of this round table will show whether it could become an actual step towards de-escalating the situation – the government is even preparing to hold a session in Donetsk.”