US commends Ukraine for roundtables on constitutional reform

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The United States commends the Ukrainian government on its efforts to hold roundtables on constitutional reform and national unity, facilitated by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). "We call on Russia to support this effort," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday. US officials understand the unwillingness of the Ukrainian government to have participants in the roundtables "who literally have blood on their hands," Carney said, referring to pro-Russian separatists in eastern and southern Ukraine. "But those who represent the regions where there are issues that merit serious dialogue around constitutional reform and levels of autonomy for different regions as it relates to the center are certainly part of this effort, and we commend it," he said. Asked if the United States agreed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's statement that the deteriorating situation in Ukraine has brought the country to the brink of civil war, Carney noted that the statement was in the context of saying that elections on May 25 should not go forward, "which is a convenient position to take when you have actively exacerbated and stoked tensions and instability within Ukraine, clearly in an effort to undermine those free and fair elections." "Not only does the United States disagree with his view, but the OSCE has said that Ukraine's preparations for a free and fair presidential election are on track, and they are consistent with preparations in other countries where recent elections have gone forward and been successful despite violence," Carney said. "It is essential that the Ukrainian people be allowed the opportunity to vote in a free and fair election for their next president, and we look forward to them being able to do it, and Russia ought to support that process instead of taking steps to undermine it," he said.

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