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India says “deeply concerned” at Ukraine violence
May 7, 2014, 5:32 am

Ukrainians and Russians who live in Greece gather outside European Union's offices with their placards during a protest in Athens on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 [AP]

Ukrainians and Russians who live in Greece gather outside European Union’s offices with their placards during a protest in Athens on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 [AP]

India on Tuesday expressed deep concern at the violent turn of events in Ukraine even as Ukrainian security forces said they had killed dozens in “anti-terror” operations.

“India is deeply concerned at the escalating crisis in Ukraine that is marked by increasing number of violent incidents,” said Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday.

“India expresses its sincere condolences to the people of Ukraine on the recent tragic loss of life in Odessa. India once again urges all sides to abjure violence and seek a political and diplomatic solution that builds on recent agreements and takes into account the legitimate interests of all concerned,” says a statement on the Foreign Ministry website.

Russia said on Tuesday new talks in a bid to defuse tensions in Ukraine should include the “oppositions”, which Ukraine denied later.

Speaking to a press meeting of a Council of Europe conference in Vienna, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the new round of international negotiations on de-escalating tensions in Ukraine should include the rebels on the negotiation table.

Andrii Deshchytsia, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, told reporters shortly after the Russian minister’s speech that there was no need to bring the rebels to the negotiation, because “as the Ukraine government, we do represent all the regions of Ukraine.”

Meanwhile in Chicago on Tuesday Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US military must re-emphasize its skills and capabilities to be able to counter irregular forces like the ones delpoyed in Ukraine.

“We must re-emphasize the capabilities and skills needed to counter high-intensity threats from more sophisticated adversaries. As we’ve seen in Ukraine and elsewhere, we must prepare for shadowy conflicts in which nations deploy irregular forces, conduct cyberterrorism, and seek ways to counter our technological edge,” Hagel said at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Ukraine’s security services said 30 “heavily armed” militants had been killed in recent days as part of the “anti-terrorist” operation in the volatile region.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said Ukraine is a few steps away from a war.

“The bloody pictures from Odessa have shown us that we are just a few steps away from a military confrontation,” Steinmeier said.

Russia’s BRICS peer, India has said Moscow has “legitimate” interests in Ukraine and they should be discussed to find a satisfactory solution to the issue.

“We are watching what is happening in Ukraine with concern… The broader issues of reconciling various interests involved and there are, after all, legitimate Russian and other interests involved and we hope those are discussed, negotiated and there is a satisfactory resolution to them,” Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said in March this year.

Both India and China have criticized US sanctions against Russia saying this could further escalate the crisis.

China had earlier abstained from vote on a draft UN resolution criticising the Crimean secession referendum in Ukraine.

Meanwhile Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that the recent visits of US Vice President Joseph Biden and CIA chief John Brennan to Kiev followed by the restart of a military operation against protesters in the southeast of the country is evidence that the US is controlling the actions of Ukrainian authorities.


TBP and Agencies