Kiev government must quit before rebels respect deal: pro-Russian leader
Kiev's interim government must leave power before pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine will abide by an international deal to vacate seized government buildings, a separatist leader said Friday.
“We agree that the buildings should be vacated, but first (Prime Minister Arseniy) Yatsenyuk and (acting president Oleksandr) Turchynov much leave the buildings that they are occupying illegally since their coup d’etat,” Denis Pushilin, a prominent member of the self-declared Donetsk Republic, told journalists.
Pro-Kremlin rebels remain barricaded inside state buildings across southeastern Ukraine a day after Kiev, Moscow, Brussels and Washington inked an accord in Geneva aimed at resolving the spiralling crisis.
The accord called for “all illegal armed groups” to disarm and leave seized state buildings.
Pushilin said that the separatists had not been consulted on the deal and that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “did not sign in our name”.
Pushilin said that pro-Moscow protesters would press on with plans to hold a regional referendum on sovereignty for the eastern part of the country on May 11.
“We are expecting an escalation in the conflict,” he said.
Authorities in Kiev have also expressed scepticism about the deal, with Yatsenyuk telling parliament that he had “no high hopes” for the agreement sticking.