Czech Foreign Minister rejects referenda in eastern Ukraine


11.05.2014 15:03

Prague - The ongoing referenda on independence in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions in Ukraine will not resolve the country's problems, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told the public broadcaster Czech Television (CT) today.


Český ministr zahraničí Lubomír Zaorálek hovoří s novináři 14. dubna v Lucemburku při příchodu na jednání šéfů diplomacií EU. ČTK Dospiva Jakub

There should be held diplomatic talks to which representatives of the regions that want to secede from Ukraine should be invited, Zaoralek said.

Zaoralek said today's referenda were illogical as they were advocating separatism at the moment the Kiev government made it clear it was ready to discuss Ukraine's decentralisation.

"I can see a much higher chance of accepting diplomatic talks, even with representatives of Ukraine's south and east," Zaoralek said.

The vote started this morning. Armed clashes have been reported from some places such as Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine.

The results are expected to be known at the beginning of next week.

Zaoralek did not say whether the diplomatic talks would be held before May 25 when presidential elections will take place in Ukraine.

He said the preparation of the elections should continue.

Zaoralek said two long-term and 23 short-term OSCE observers were prepared on behalf of the Czech Republic.

On Monday, talks on a special European mission to send further observers will be held, he added.

"We must make the most to be able to monitor the situation, to take part in this and to insist on diplomatic talks and to prevent the escalation by all means at our disposal," Zaoralek said.

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