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    Kiev to Raise Crimea Return at Geneva Meeting – Ukrainian Official

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    Kiev plans to raise Crimea's return to Ukraine during a planned four-party meeting in Geneva on Thursday, Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia announced Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - Kiev plans to raise Crimea's return to Ukraine during a planned four-party meeting in Geneva on Thursday, Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia announced Wednesday.

    The meeting on the Ukrainian crisis in Geneva is to be attended by delegates from Russia, the European Union, the United States and Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said that the de-escalation of tensions, disarmament of illegal armed groups and constitutional reforms in the crisis-torn country will top the agenda of the upcoming talks.

    According to Deshchytsia, Ukraine also intends to raise the issue of Crimea's return at the meeting.

    "It is also essential for us that Russia revokes the decision by parliament stipulating Russia's troop deployment in Ukraine," he added.

    Deshchytsia once again condemned Russia for supporting federalization protests in eastern Ukrainian regions.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said that any hints of Russia's alleged involvement in the tensions in eastern Ukraine were unacceptable.

    Foreign Minister Lavrov earlier stated that Moscow was ready to take part in the Geneva talks, on the condition that the meeting is focused on bringing all Ukrainian regions to the negotiating table.

    Following the regime change in Ukraine in February, Crimea refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities and held a referendum that resulted in its reunification with Russia.

    The West consistently blamed Russia for violating Ukraine's territorial integrity and called the referendum illegitimate.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry meanwhile insists the vote fully complied with international law and the UN Charter and genuinely reflected the free will of Crimean citizens.

    On Tuesday, the Ukrainian Parliament approved a law declaring Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as "temporarily occupied territories." The lawmakers also said that Moscow should pay compensation for all material damage caused by absorbing Crimea into Russia.

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    Andriy Deshchytsia, Geneva
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