MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow plans to take part in this week’s four-party negotiations on the situation in Ukraine, but holding the talks will depend on the actions of the new Kiev authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.
The talks, scheduled for Thursday, are to be attended by top officials from the US, EU, Russia and Ukraine and are part of the diplomatic effort to resolve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, where protests have recently intensified in the country’s eastern regions.
“Russia is prepared for international cooperation to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, including at the possible four-party talks in Geneva," the statement said, adding that holding the talks depends on the decisions that Kiev is now taking "under the auspices of Washington."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned his US counterpart John Kerry on Saturday that a planned meeting in Geneva on the Ukrainian crisis, as well as further cooperation on the issue, would be foiled if Kiev resorted to using force against protesters.
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said that preparations for the upcoming talks were continuing amid serious differences, including the status of the Ukrainian delegation.
Ukraine underwent a regime change in February that resembled a military coup. The country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, amended the constitution and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
Protests for federalization, centered in the cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk, have swept across Ukraine’s eastern and southeastern regions. The demonstrators have been calling for Crimea-style referendums on the status of their regions within Ukraine. The government in Kiev, which has accused the protestors of separatism, has vowed a harsh crackdown on the federalists.