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Ukraine foreign minister: Law enforcement must be decisive

May 8th, 2014
03:23 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Ukrainian law enforcement must be “more decisive” in fighting separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, that country’s foreign minster, Andrii Deshchytsia, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

Operations have recently been suspended, he said, but vowed they would continue, because “separatist groups did not stop.”

“They have been in the last few days taking more and more buildings, and terrorizing more civil population.”

“So I think that we, the Ukrainian government and the law enforcement forces have to be more decisive, and actually what people from the region are expecting from us.”

Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine have decided to go ahead with a Sunday referendum on greater local powers, they said Thursday, defying a call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the vote.

Putin had urged the pro-Russia sympathizers to delay the referendum to give dialogue "the conditions it needs to have a chance."

“What he should do is to ask to stop the referendum,” Deshchytsia said.

The referendum, he said, “is illegal,” and he told Amanpour his country is committed to holding presidential elections as scheduled on May 25.

“We do believe that these elections will be held all around Ukraine, and this is actually the reason why the law enforcement units in eastern Ukraine has launched the operation to restore the order in this part of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian government, he told Amanpour, is prepared to negotiate directly with Russia. But Russia, he said, is not following through with its stated commitment to stabilization.

President Putin announced on Wednesday that Russia was pulling back troops from near the Ukrainian border; the U.S. and NATO dispute this claim.

“According to the intelligent data of Ukrainian military,” Deshchytsia said, “there is no movement of Russian troops back to the Russian territory.”

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Russia • Ukraine
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Dell Stator

    What Ukraines police need is to run the whole force though lie detectors to weed out the traitors, then all take a US provided 4 week intensiive 24 x 7 boot camp in lets ust say "democratic" police procedures, like, impartiality, etc.. Until all in the Ukraine can have some hope of being treated fairly and legally by the police, they'll continue to arm up, ignore the law, and create mob law, negihborhood by neighborhood, like the chaos that is Lebanon. Why the US gov't has not thought of providing this "non military" aid boogle the mind, are gov't employees and elected officals so involved in keeping their cushy jobs they have no time to think of ways to solve the problems that face our country?

    May 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  2. John

    Usually, when you negotiate there is give and take. The Kiev militants want to have the East give up their referendum but they do not wish to give anything up - like postponing the national election. For this reason, East Ukraine will procede rapidly with their vote of succession because they wish to exit before presidential elections which are staged and definitely not fair and free as I am sure East Ukraine, because of military occupation, is not allowed to run a candidate. In addition, while the official statement from Kiev is they are trying to restore order before the presidential elections everyone knows the aggressive attack on civilians is to prevent them from voting their free will to seperate from Kiev, which is itself an illegal government - as per their own high court which was promplty dismissed by the millitants after giving their ruling.

    May 9, 2014 at 12:02 am | Reply
  3. Matt

    You will be the first to flee, when it hits the fan, the punter so what. My plumber is a Ukrainian. People like you are stepped on with size 10 GP boots. You they laugh at. Me I burn Russia, I destroy Syria and have the common decency to tell before to their face. Nothing geopolitical in this or strategic I am for the punters.

    May 9, 2014 at 3:56 am | Reply
  4. Etinge onga

    As far as the socio-economic and political independence is concern to be left in the hands of Ukrainians not in Washington,Kremlin or Brussel,and the interim powers in Ukrain should hold dialogue with the separatists in order to reach a global political concensus,so as to bring back stabity.

    May 9, 2014 at 5:47 am | Reply
  5. Jay Lin

    It is sad to see CNN taking sides and kept on the Russia bashing. The current government in Ukraine is not an elected government but rather ponds of the USA. CNN did not even questioned who supported the riots and demonstrations against the previous government elected by the people. By keeping silence you are basically saying the riots and demonstrations today is not OK but the previous ones are OK. I guessed it is "He who pays the piper calls the tune".

    May 9, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
  6. Nat

    Cute remarks on 'illegal' gov, the one we actually voted for in Ukraine. Cute experts like some Ukrainian plumber like I guess not in Ukraine for a long time. Who wants to live in Russia? Go try. I don't think you'll enjoy it, even though they have a 'legal' gov in Kremlin. That's a laugh

    May 9, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply
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