Baku, Azerbaijan, March 13
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
The situation in Crimea and Ukraine in general causes great concern and it is necessary to prevent it being aggravated in the future, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on March 13.
"An intensive dialogue on the conflict with the participation of Russia, Ukraine and the international community is very important," Schroeder said in Baku on March 13.
He was delivering a report at a conference in the Azerbaijani-German Chamber of Commerce.
"OSCE may be a good mediator in this context," he said. "The problem must be resolved through the negotiation. It is wrong for Ukraine to choose between Russia and Europe," Schroeder said.
Mass protests in Ukraine began on November 21, 2013, when the government announced the suspension of the preparation of an Association Agreement with the EU. As a result of the protests, the country's President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted on Feb.22. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) approved the new composition of parliament and is preparing to hold pre-term elections.
On Feb.26 several thousand people participating in two rallies, gathered in front of the Supreme Council of Crimea. After the escalation of the protest action in Crimea, the Federation Council supported President Vladimir Putin's appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending 'the normalisation of the socio-political situation in that country'.
Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and U.S., as well as the chairman of the European Council and chairman of the European Commission made a joint statement condemning Russia's position on Ukraine and cancelled preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi scheduled for June 2014.
The Crimean parliament made a decision on joining Russia on March 6.
Translated by NH
Edited by SM