11:35 09.05.2014

Turchynov, Yatseniuk initiate all-Ukrainian roundtables of national unity to solve most pressing issues – joint statement

3 min read

Ukraine's leadership is initiating the all-Ukrainian national unity roundtables with the participation of all political forces from all regions, as well as the public and scientific circles.

"Today we announce an initiative on holding all-Ukrainian roundtables of national unity. We are ready to talk with anyone who has legitimate political objectives and is ready to defend them through legitimate means - those who do not have blood on their hands. We invite representatives of all the political forces of all regions, civil society, scientific circles to the dialogue on all issues and problems, which the Ukrainian people are currently facing," Acting President of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said in a joint statement for Ukrainians, published on the Web site of the acting head of state on Thursday night.

"The list of the most urgent issues includes decentralization of authority, local self-government reform, the maintenance of a balance between branches of authority, expanded guarantees of the defense of ethnic minorities' rights, and reform of legal relations between the state and the public, including the reform of the judiciary and of the law-enforcement system," the statement says.

"The aim of this dialogue is to develop a national consensus on key issues of the Ukrainian society. The proposals worked out with the participation of all political forces will be implemented by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, including through the mechanisms of amending the Constitution and laws of Ukraine," the statement reads.

In order to make this process effective, the Ukrainian leadership finds it expedient to make use of the experience amassed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which "has done a great deal already to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, including by deploying monitors for the purpose of providing objective information about Ukraine to the international community."

"We hope that the universal nature of the OSCE, an organization with 57 member countries, including Ukraine, the United States, the European Union countries and Russia, will create the most favorable conditions for holding roundtable discussions," the statement says.

Turchynov and Yatseniuk invited all the parties in the political process, as well as representatives of the public, to play and active role in implementing this initiative. "We will achieve the long-wanted stability and cope with the emerging challenges on the basis of a compromise and dialogue," they said.

The Ukrainian leaders also said that all of the illegal armed groups must surrender their weapons and free the hostages and seized buildings. "Those who fulfill these conditions and who were not involved in grave crimes, who did not kill, or torture people, will be amnestied," they said.

Turchynov and Yatseniuk again urged all signatories to the Geneva agreements to abide by them strictly, noting that the Ukrainian leadership is ready to propose additional steps to form national consensus and compromise.