ROME, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Saturday expressed Italy's support to the Ukrainian reform process in a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseny Yatseniuk in Rome, a statement from the Italian government's office said.
During the talks, "Renzi has expressed the strong support from Italy to the process of political and economic reforms carried out by the government in Kiev," the statement read.
"The day after the G7 statement, Renzi and Yatseniuk agreed on commitments to respect the Geneva accords," it added.
Renzi also confirmed "the strong expectation of the international community that the presidential elections in Ukraine will take place on the scheduled date of 25 May," according to the statement.
The meeting, which was also attended by Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini and Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, was "an opportunity to reaffirm the excellent bilateral economic relations between Italy and Ukraine," the statement concluded.
The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations agreed on Friday night to impose more sanctions on Russia over its "inaction" in easing the tension in eastern Ukraine.
The announcement came as Moscow staged military drills on the joint border with Ukraine on Thursday, responding to Kiev's "anti-terror" operation that resulted in the deaths of five pro-Moscow protesters.
Obama, Europe top leaders urge Russia to do more for de-escalation in Ukraine
PARIS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia should do more to contribute to violence de-escalation in Ukraine where "a democratic transition should be implemented via free elections," leaders of top European countries and the United States said on Friday.
In a communique released by France's president office, the Elysee, Francois Hollande, his American counterpart Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Russia to respect its commitment to ease tensions in Ukraine in line with Geneva accord. Full story
Cameron discusses Ukraine crisis with Obama, European leaders
LONDON, April 25 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in a phone call, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
"The five leaders welcomed the efforts by the Ukrainian government to implement the Geneva agreement, including cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and working towards constitutional reform and decentralization," a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement following the phone call.Full story
UN chief troubled by rhetoric, hardening of positions on Ukraine
UNITED NATIONS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged on Friday all parties involved in the Ukraine crisis to honor their commitments under the Geneva Statement, calling for an immediate halt of violence in Ukraine and practical steps to de- escalate the tension.
At a daily news briefing here, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: "The secretary-general is alarmed by the continued violence and loss of life in eastern Ukraine. The instability is contributing to a climate of fear and anxiety that can lead to a dangerous cycle of escalating tensions and serious miscalculations."Full story
Lukashenko urges Russia, West to calm down to stabilize situation in Ukraine
MINSK, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The West and Russia should both calm down to stabilize situation in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Friday, underscoring the need for a credible leadership to further set the course for Ukraine.
People trusted no one in Ukraine as "they have been cheated and betrayed many times," the president said. "Today there is a need for a person, a group of people who could tell people what they are going to do, which path they are going to choose."Full story