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New constitution should state Ukraine's non-bloc status

A new constitution should clearly state the non-bloc status of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sergei Brilev's Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) television programme on March 29.

He said this idea had been put forth in Russia's proposals concerning the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. "This thesis is reflected in our proposals. We are convinced that a new constitution should clearly state the non-bloc status of Ukraine," the minister said.

"The Americans hear this. As to how much they understand this can be judged from their public statements. Last week in Brussels, President Barack Obama said that neither Ukraine nor NATO was prepared for this, and this issue should not be discussed now," Lavrov said, referring to calls for Ukraine's admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The minister noted that parliament-appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk had not raised this issue for the time being.

"He hasn't for the time being. But we are convinced that there must be no ambiguity on this matter. There are too many 'for the time being's' and 'lack of intentions'. Intentions change, but facts are made on the ground," Lavrov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Petrropavlovsk Kamchatsky, 29Mar14]

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