Lavrov: Ukraine’s laws banning communism ‘disastrous’ for peace process in Donbas
The laws of Ukraine banning communism are "disastrous" for the peace process in the Donbas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting of the “Normandy Four” foreign ministers in Berlin on Tuesday, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"Of course, we drew attention to the current situation in Ukraine and the laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, such as "de-communization" and glorification of the Nazis. We constantly draw the attention of our partners to it. I think they realize how disastrous such activity of the Verkhovna Rada is for the peace process," Lavrov said.
In fact, Ukraine last week passed laws banning both Communist and Nazi symbols and the promotion of their ideologies. The country also passed a law granting recognition of persons who had fought for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century.
According to Lavrov, the representatives of the Russian Federation have not heard of any steps being taken by the European Union or their German and French partners in response to the Ukrainian parliament’s passing of this legislation.
"I think they all understand that the continuation of the line on the glorification of the Nazis and de-glorification of real heroes of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War has risks to undermine the Minsk process," Lavrov said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the talks of the Normandy Four foreign ministers in Berlin began at around 2100 on April 13 and lasted almost five hours.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said on Twitter that the negotiations were "very hard."
According to Melnyk, the differences of opinion between Kyiv and Moscow became clear during the meeting. But, according to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements.
"Today's meeting confirmed how difficult the situation is. The way will be long, but if we do not follow it, the situation may get out of our control," Steinmeier said.
In addition, speaking to journalists, Lavrov said that the parties had also agreed to withdraw mortars and heavy weapons of less than 100 mm caliber, as well as all types of tanks.
"We encourage the Tripartite Contact Group, in coordination with the special monitoring mission (SMM) of the OSCE to agree an appropriate schedule," the statement reads.
The Normandy Four foreign ministers called on all parties to cease hostilities and demonstrate commitment to the full implementation of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
The foreign ministers called on the parties to the conflict in Donbas to nominate as soon as possible their representatives in sub-working groups within the Tripartite Contact Group in Ukraine.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 9 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law "On condemnation of the Communist and National Socialist totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and banning the promotion of their symbols."
According to the law, the use of symbols in the name of communist and/or the National Socialist totalitarian regimes is considered the grounds for a refusal of registration and/or the termination of a legal entity, political party, other associations of citizens; and a refusal to register and/or the discontinuation of print media.
The law also prohibits the manufacture, distribution, public use of symbols of the communist totalitarian regime, including monuments, and symbols of the Nazi totalitarian regime on the territory of Ukraine.