On the sidelines of the gathering, Lavrov met with US Secretary of State John Kerry and yet again discussed the Ukraine question, which has caused quite a chill in relations between the two powers.
Both Moscow and Washington understand that Ukraine needs constitutional reform, Lavrov said.
“We discussed the necessity to call on the authorities in Kiev to pay serious attention to the constitutional reform, which would take into consideration the interests of all Ukrainian regions,” he said.
However, Lavrov admitted, that it is their evaluation of the situation and they “cannot impose” this idea on the Ukrainian leadership. Still, it would be very difficult to overcome the “Ukraine’s deep internal crisis” without such a reform, the Russian minister believes.
According to Lavrov, Kerry realizes that it is necessary to “push” the Ukrainian authorities into fulfilling the February-21 agreement on the crisis settlement, which was signed by ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, opposition leaders and foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland.
In Lavrov’s view, the coup-installed authorities in Kiev should have waited until a legitimate government was formed in the country after elections, and should have only then decided whether to sign an agreement with Brussels.
“Presidential elections were announced for the end May rather than December as it had been agreed upon in the February 21 accords. A constitutional reform should be carried out before the vote,” he said. “Perhaps, it would be right from all points of view, I would say it would be more ethical towards [Ukrainian] people to wait for a more legitimate situation in Kiev, and within the Ukrainian leadership before signing any agreements on behalf of their state.”
At The Hague, Lavrov met for the first time with Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa.
The tete-a-tete was initiated by the Ukrainian side.
“I told him how we see the steps that officials appointed by the Verkhovna Rada (the parliament) should take in order to finally establish normal nationwide dialogue,” Lavrov said.