The US, EU, Russia, and Ukraine have reached an agreement that calls for all sides to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. The deal came on Thursday after marathon talks in Geneva over the crisis in Ukraine. The agreement requires all sides to refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions. It also gives amnesty to protesters who vacate occupied government buildings and surrender their weapons.
Photo taken on April 17, 2014 shows a view of the talks on Ukraine in
Geneva, Switzerland. (Xinhua)
Top diplomats from Russia and the US confirmed the agreement in separate press conferences after the talks and also voiced their commitment to translating words into concrete actions.
"We approved a document to go with the Geneva statement of April 17, in which we agreed on initial concrete steps that will de-escalate tensions and restore security for all the citizens of Ukraine." "All illegally armed groups must be disarmed. All illegally seized buildings must be returned to the legitimate owners." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"I made clear to Foreign Minister Lavrov today that if we’re not able to see progress on the immediate efforts to be able to implement the principles of this agreement this weekend, then we will have no choice but to impose further costs on Russia." US Secretary Of State John Kerry said.
In order to implement the agreement, a monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe or OSCE that is already in Ukraine, will work with local authorities to de-escalate tensions.
The government of Ukraine responding to concerns from Russia has agreed to engage in "inclusive and transparent" discussion for reform of the constitution and the protection of minorities’ rights. The government has agreed to what all parties have called a "broad national dialogue" ahead of the election in May.