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No military solution to situation in eastern Ukraine -- Party of Regions faction leader

The faction of the Party of Regions in Ukraine's unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is against the use of the country's armed forces in eastern Ukrainian regions to deal with the seizure of state buildings by armed persons, faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov said on Monday.

"We are totally against the military scenario of events, the more so as we believe the use of the Ukrainian army against Ukrainian citizens is absolutely unacceptable," Yefremov said at the Rada's coordination board meeting.

He told journalists that the de facto Kiev authorities should learn to hear people in Ukraine's eastern regions.

"It is impossible to resolve any situation with the help of a club," Yefremov said while commenting on the situation in the country's eastern regions. "All the more so as there are thousands of people on the streets. And in the east, there are thousands of people everywhere, in all cities."

"We have to react to this, but not with totally insane statements that we will dismiss and punish everyone and bring them to their knees," Yefremov said. "Do we want to enslave the east? Then say that directly! But I doubt that people living there will agree to that."

The deputy stressed that "these are our people who have their own viewpoint".

He recalled that Ukraine's eastern regions have for many years demanded that the Ukrainian authorities grant Russian the status of an official language, but added that the authorities "do not hear people who put forward their demands".

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 14Apr14]

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Ukraine Unrest
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