Next roundtable on national unity due in Donetsk on May 17

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The next nationwide roundtable on national unity is scheduled to take place in Donetsk this Saturday, said Leonid Kravchuk, Ukraine’s first president (1991-1994). “We are getting ready for the roundtable that will be held on Saturday. Monday the latest, but not later because there is simply no point in holding it further,” he said at the first roundtable on national unity in Kiev on Wednesday.

 “We are taking on a huge responsibility by inviting to Donetsk,” the first president said. “As far as I understand, Mr. Taruta (the head of the Donetsk regional administration) and Mr. Lukyanchenko (the mayor of Donetsk) said they will provide safety, but we need a decision of our security authorities : I do not think we can make this decision without guarantees or at least statements and decisions of the Ukrainian security authorities on whether they will ensure calm and the possibility for a roundtable to be held,” Kravchuk said.

This roundtable requires preparation of an appropriate program, he also said. “I think this program must contain a new regional policy that we shall offer to our regions, primarily, the east of Ukraine,” Kravchuk said. Donetsk will be ready to host the second roundtable on national unity in two days, said Taruta. “We are still in talks, we still do need to ensure safety. In two days we shall be able to effectively offer what you are talking about,” he said.

Head of Donetsk regional administration calls for stopping actions in Kiev’s Maidan

The removal of protesters from Independence Square in Kyiv will calm down part of the protesters in Donetsk, head of the Donetsk regional administration Serhiy Taruta believes.

 

“They are saying: you have double standards – they are allowed to do it in Maidan, but we are not. One should agree with the patriots who are staying in Maidan – let’s remove the Maidan from Hreschatyk and this will immediately win many supporters in Donbass,” he said at the first national unity roundtable in Kiev on Wednesday.

“It is true that someone may find it unpleasant to hear that, but it should be done,” Taruta said. He added that residents of Eastern Ukraine regard members of the National Guard as Right Sector activists. “This should be taken into account and something should be done that they would stop regarding them as such,” Taruta said.
Helicopters used in eastern Ukraine don’t bear UN symbols – Ukrainian Defense Ministry

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has denied the Russian authorities’ statements that military helicopters bearing UN symbols are used in the military operation in the eastern regions of Ukraine. “Indeed, we are using white helicopters that previously fulfilled peacekeeping tasks. However, they bear an emblem of the Ukrainian armed forces,” the press service for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry told Interfax.

The ministry said there are no UN emblems on these helicopters. The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said Russia that insists on a probe into the use by the Ukrainian military of helicopters bearing UN symbols, specifically, near Kramatorsk.

No one issued Kiev mandate to use UN helicopters, situation requires comprehensive investigation – Russian Deputy FM

Situation with ukrainian servicemen using helicopters with un emblems requires comprehensive investigation, no one issued kyiv mandate to use such aircraft, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said. Russia insists that the situation on the use of helicopters with UN emblems by Ukrainian servicemen, in particular outside Kramatorsk, be investigated and is in close contact with the UN secretariat regarding this issue.

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