KIEV, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya on Friday acknowledged progress achieved during the four-party talks over the Ukraine crisis in Geneva, but said some differences remain.
"Russia agreed to facilitate de-escalation of the situation in the eastern regions," Deshchytsya told reporters.
Top diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union reached a deal on Thursday to defuse the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and resolve dispute between Kiev and Moscow on the issue.
Deshchytsya said the sides have reached the compromise on some crucial issues, including implementation of far-reaching constitutional reform in Ukraine and amnesty to pro-Russian protesters.
However, there were some stumbling blocks during the negotiations, Deshchytsya said, pointing out the divergence between Moscow and Kiev over Ukraine's political and military status.
The two post-Soviet neighbors also have different positions on Crimea's integration into Russia and on Moscow's involvement in unrest in eastern Ukraine, he added.
The unrest in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east came after Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on March 18 following a referendum.
A new wave of violence erupted in the country's east over the weekend, as pro-Moscow activists seized several administrative buildings in nearly 10 eastern cities, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.
Britain's Hague offers "cautious welcome" to Ukraine agreement
LONDON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday offered his "cautious welcome" to the agreement reached at the four-way Geneva talks over the Ukraine crisis on Thursday.
"Yesterday's agreement was at the top end of our expectations. We should certainly welcome it, but it should be a cautious welcome. The next steps are to see implementation, and we need to see progress quickly over the next few days," Hague said in a statement. Full story
Ukraine gov't mulls constitutional reform
KIEV, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine's government is prepared to conduct constitutional changes that would grant more say to local governments on budget and tax policy and give the Russian language a special status in efforts to overcome the current crisis in the country, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said here Friday.
"The Ukrainian government is ready to conduct comprehensive constitutional reform that will strengthen the regions' powers," Yatsenyuk said in a televised address to the nation. Full story