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Ukrainian lawmakers urge world's parliaments to press Russia to avoid new escalation

Ukrainian lawmakers urge world's parliaments to press Russia to avoid new escalationHeads of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada's committees have addressed chairmen of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of the parliaments of the EU member states, the U.S., Canada and Japan along with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, urging to take political and diplomatic measures to influence the Russian Federation to prevent a new wave of aggression in connection with recent developments in Crimea.

"Russian special services have once again committed a crime by kidnapping a Ukrainian citizen from the territory of Ukraine in order to fabricate "crime evidence" against him [referring to Yevgen Panov detained in Crimea]. It would be advisable to remind that Russia continues holding more than 40 Ukrainian political prisoners, who became victims of the aggressive policy of the official Kremlin," the address says, signed by First Deputy Speaker of the parliament Iryna Gerashchenko, First Deputy Head of the Committee on European Integration Maria Ionova and head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Hanna Hopko.

The address states: "Today, the occupying state is looking for ways to shift responsibilities for its destructive actions onto Ukraine and its international partners while creating artificial pretexts for further escalation of the military confrontation. We are convinced that such actions by the Russian leaders contain direct threats not only to Ukraine but also to Europe and the whole world."

The committees call on fellow parliamentarians to immediately take all possible political and diplomatic measures in order "to influence the Kremlin and prevent a new round of aggression against Ukraine and also avoid the ultimate failure of the Minsk process due to the Kremlin."
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