Deal to 'de-escalate' Ukrainian crisis agreed in Geneva

18 April 2014 08:36

Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the European Union have announced agreement on measures aimed at defusing the crisis in Ukraine, BBC reports.

After daylong talks April 17 in Geneva, the parties called on all illegal armed groups across Ukraine to disband, to stop occupying public buildings, and to refrain from violence.

Officials said Ukrainian authorities have also agreed to grant amnesty to protesters who illegally occupied property during Ukraine’s unrest, excluding those found guilty of capital offenses.

The four parties also agreed to the deployment of an OSCE mission to oversee de-escalation in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized the call to disband illegal armed groups applied to all groups across Ukraine, including ones that support the new authorities in Kyiv.

The four parties also condemned all activity in Ukraine seeking to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or religion.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned a reported anti-Jewish incident in eastern Ukraine, and a threat to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Kerry said that if the four-party agreement collapses, the United States will have no choice but to impose further measures aimed at punishing Russia.