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Germany presents five-point plan to ease Ukraine crisis

Tuesday, 6 May 2014 - 8:38am IST | Agency: IANS

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has presented a five-point plan to solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a German daily reported Monday.

In an article for the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Steinmeier called on Ukraine, Russia, the US and the European Union (EU) to meet again in Geneva and send on this occasion a "strong political message" that agreements reached at the first Geneva conference would actually be put into practice, Xinhua reported.

The minister wrote about the importance to ensure that the presidential election in Ukraine, slated for May 25, could be held properly, as this will allow the leadership in Kiev to "get new legitimacy".

All sides to the conflict in Ukraine should rapidly conduct negotiations on a constitutional reform, which includes all parts of the country and aims at achieving national consensus, proposed Steinmeier. Also, all non-governmental groups should be disarmed and occupied public buildings are to be vacated.

As another point of his plan, the minister expressed hope that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could play a key role in settling the crisis in Ukraine. The OSCE, he wrote, should provide help in establishing dialogue forums at all levels.

Ukraine has been plunged into a chaotic violence since November 2013 following the government's backtrack on European integration which angered many in the west of Ukraine.

On April 17, representatives from the US, Russia, Ukraine, and the EU met in Geneva and signed a statement on the de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine. The accord says all sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions as part of initial steps to restore order in the country.

Ukraine was hit by a fresh wave of unrest in the past few days. In the east part of the country, government troops took actions against militants with combat helicopters and armored vehicles Sunday, after violent clashes occurred Friday between pro- and anti-government protesters in the port city of Odessa, leaving at least 43 people killed and 174 others injured.

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