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Russia says Kiev, U.S. distorting Ukraine Geneva accord

Source: Reuters - Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:19 GMT
Author: Reuters
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MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) - Russia on Wednesday accused Kiev and the United States of distorting an agreement reached in Geneva last week to defuse the Ukraine crisis and of ignoring what it said were provocative actions by Ukrainian nationalists.

Russia still believes the West is serious about seeking peace in Ukraine but "the facts, alas, speak of the opposite", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that emphasised rifts over how the accord reached by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union should be implemented and by whom.

Moscow is "extremely surprised by the distorted interpretation (of the agreement) by the Kiev authorities and the American partners," the ministry said.

It said that while the accord called for illegal armed groups to disarm, "Kiev and Washington, as well as several European capitals, continue to insist only on the need for Ukrainian citizens protecting their rights in southeastern Ukraine to disarm" - a reference to pro-Russian separatists.

"At the same time, they are closing their eyes to continuing provocative actions by fighters from radical right-wing forces," it said, referring to Ukrainian nationalist groups.

The Russian statement repeated Moscow's calls for the immediate withdrawal of Ukrainian military units from southeastern Ukraine and the start of an inclusive dialogue that would embrace all the former Soviet republic's regions and political forces. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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