4  13.03.14 - Press conference of Ivan Kukhta, Ambassador of Ukraine to Armenia

Envoy on Ukraine - Armenia ties, Crimea referendum, Russia

Envoy on Ukraine - Armenia ties, Crimea referendum, Russia

PanARMENIAN.Net - Kyiv will continue cooperation with Armenia regardless of the situation in Ukraine, the country's envoy said, expressing hope for rapid settlement of the crisis, Armenian media reported.

At the March 13 news conference in Yerevan, Ivan Kukhta pointed out the dynamically developing cooperation and increasing trade turnover between the countries, with Ukraine home to an extensive Armenian community presented in Ukraine’s state and local governance bodies.

“It’s clear Ukraine’s ethnic minorities are concerned about the fate of the country,” Kukhta said, reminding that 2 out of 100 victims of the Maidan violence were ethnic Armenians.

Commenting on the March 16 referendum in Crimea, the ambassador dubbed it "illegitimate and ant constitutional, Russia, therefore, having no right to recognize it." "Nor do Crimean authorities have any right to apply to any country with an annexation request,” Kukhta said.

The ambassador didn’t rule out Ukraine’s quitting the CIS, with the issue currently being discussed. Still, the envoy expressed Kyiv’s readiness to negotiate with Russia, expressing hope for normalization of ties.

He, however, didn’t preclude that Russia’s violation of its obligations as the guarantor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the ensuing international sanctions may result in unforeseeable repercussions for Ukraine and Europe as well.

As he noted in conclusion, Ukraine’s NATO membership isn’t on the agenda at present, with stabilization of political and economic situation as a key priority.

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