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    International Community Must Persuade Ukraine to Start Constitutional Reform - Lavrov

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    All parties interested in settling the ongoing crisis in Ukraine must call on the Kiev authorities to move from words to action, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    HANOI, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – All parties interested in settling the ongoing crisis in Ukraine must call on the Kiev authorities to move from words to action, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    “Those who are a sincere friend of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, are obliged to convince the current authorities to move from words to action and begin an original and comprehensive constitutional process, a process of constitutional reform that will give all regions of the country their rights in the Ukrainian government," Lavrov said after a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi.

    Lavrov said Thursday’s four-party talks on the Ukrainian crisis in Geneva should focus on the constitutional reform in Ukraine. “We should start a true, not a cosmetic constitutional reform,” he said. Russia insists on a deep and transparent constitutional reform in Ukraine involving all political and regional forces, especially in light of the recent pro-federalization rallies in the eastern regions.

    The negotiations, expected to be attended by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, are part of the diplomatic effort to resolve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, where interim authorities have authorized military crackdown on pro-federalization protesters. Russia has strongly condemned the move, calling it an extremely dangerous development.

    Moscow hopes that Kiev will not use its army against its civilians, Lavrov said.

    “We will strive to ease the situation, we will strive so that the Kiev administration respectfully reacts to the opinion and demands of the residents in the southeast…and immediately begins dialogue in order to ease the situation and not force it by using its law enforcement bodies, and especially not using its army, which is directly prohibited according to Ukrainian law," he said.

    Eastern Ukraine has been swept by rallies beginning last month. Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

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    constitutional reform, Sergei Lavrov
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