Only Way For Ukraine To Reach Settlement Is To Sign Federal Agreement, Says Lavrov

Russia believes that the only way for Ukraine to reach a settlement is to sign a federal agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the anchor of the News on Saturday with Sergei Brilev TV programme earlier today. "The current developments in Ukraine have resulted from a deep statehood crisis, triggered, among other things, by the inability (I’d hate to think of reluctance) of every next leader coming to power to reconcile the interests of Ukraine’s western region and Ukraine’s South-East", the Russian Foreign Minister said. "This cannot continue that way anymore".

Syria has Enough Wisdom, Determination to Surpass Ongoing War: Patriarch Kirill

MOSCOW- Syria has enough wisdom and determination to surpass the crisis and overcome the war waged against the country and in which foreign mercenaries are taking part, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for the Russian Orthodox Church said yesterday.

Patriarch Kirill, was speaking with Riyad Hadda, Syria's Ambassador in Moscow, thanked the Syrian government for being keen to get the nuns, abducted by armed groups from Tecla Monastery in Maaloul, released.

"I would like to thank President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian government for playing a decisive role in releasing the nuns," he said.

Moscow Demands That Kiev Secure Work Of Russian Missions In Ukraine – Foreign Ministry

Moscow has urged the regime in Kiev to secure normal operation and safeguard Russia’s official missions in Ukraine. A statement to this effect was made Monday by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russia demands that the Ukrainian leadership take measures to ensure the security of all of Russia's representative offices in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The recent raid became possible because the new Ukrainian leadership has lost control over the situation in Kiev and due to the fact that an atmosphere of legal nihilism and all-permissiveness has taken hold in Ukraine.

Putin Gives Gov’t Until March 29 To Map Out Executive Bodies In Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the government until March 29 to draw up plans for the creation of executive bodies in Crimea. This comes after Putin signed the constitutional law incorporating Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia as two new constituent regions.

The president also gave instructions to ministries and agencies to ensure the implementation of measures aimed at establishing federal, regional, municipal and other executive administrations in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, including measures to adjust the staff lists of executive bodies to the required numbers, the Kremlin’s press service reports.

OSCE to send monitors to Ukraine, Russia hopes it stops extremists' attacks

Russia joined the 56 other members of the OSCE on Friday in a consensus decision to send a six-month monitoring mission initially numbering 100 people to Ukraine.

Just as Russia has insisted, the mandate of the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine features certain regions the monitors will be able to visit, including the following 10 cities – Kiev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk, Kherson, Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, Odessa and Chernovtsy.

Federal State Is Only Solution For Ukraine, Says Lavrov

Making Ukraine a federal state is the only way to stabilize situation in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

 “We want to understand, who exactly will represent legitimate authorities in Kiev. In this regard we have a proposal: first of all, a constitutional reform should be held, so that interests of all Ukrainian citizens and regions are respected. This is the only basis for forming legitimate authorities, legislative and executive, central and regional,” Lavrov told members of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

 “And we are convinced that the situation in the country can be stabilized only through making Ukraine a federal state,” he continued.

Putin Submits Crimea Reunification Treaty to Parliament

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday submitted the Crimea reunification treaty to the parliament for ratification, the legislature’s press service said.

Earlier in the day, the treaty was unanimously approved by the Russian Constitutional Court.

The president also submitted a draft federal constitutional law to make Crimea a part of Russia.

Putin: Crimean Referendum Fully Democratic

The referendum on independence in Crimea was conducted in strict accordance with democratic principles and the international law, President Vladimir Putin told the Federal Assembly, as he was welcomed by a standing ovation. Putin stressed that the results of the referendum, in which more than 82 percent of Crimean residents came to polling stations and more than 96 percent of those voted for rejoining Russia, leave no room for equivocation.