Ukraine right-wingers derail peace conference | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ukraine right-wingers derail peace conference

March 12, 2020 - 5:54 AM

KYIV, Ukraine - Right-wing activists in Ukraine on Thursday derailed a conference intended to discuss moves toward a political settlement of the separatist conflict in the country's east.

Members of the National Corps, a radical nationalist group that includes veterans of the conflict, denounced the conference in Kyiv as a betrayal of Ukraine's interests. They surrounded a deputy chief of Ukraine's security council and forced him from the podium after he called for political efforts to bring rebel areas back into the fold.

The conflict in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland flared up in April 2014, weeks after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. More than 14,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists.

Serhiy Sivokho, an undersecretary of Ukraine's Security and Defence Council, emphasized the need to work out a strategy for bringing the rebel-controlled regions known as Donbass back under the government's control.

“We are ready to jointly develop a workable policy of reintegration for Donbass,” Sivokho said before a dozen National Corps activists surrounded him and pushed him away, bringing the conference to a halt.

National Corps member Serhiy Tamarin charged that those who describe the fighting in the east as Ukraine's internal conflict serve Russia's interests. “The situation in the east isn't an internal conflict, but part of the Russian occupation," he said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was elected in April, has made the conflict settlement his top priority. Right-wing activists and some others have voiced fears that he could negotiate a compromise that would betray Ukraine's interests — allegations Zelenskiy has denied.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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