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Rinat Akhmetov: 'I will do everything possible to ensure that the voice of Donbass is heard'

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April 14, 2014, 5:15 p.m. | Op-ed — by Rinat Akhmetov

Pro-Russian activists wave a Russian flag and shout slogans during a rally near a razor wire-topped barricade outside the regional government building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on April 13, 2014.
© AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY

 Editor's note: Below is the statement of Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov on the crisis in eastern Ukraine, released on April 14.

The situation in the east of Ukraine is now very difficult.

The crisis is getting deeper, public buildings are being taken over, weapons are being seized. Most dreadfully, people are dying, which is unacceptable under any circumstances.  I express by deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.

The human life is the biggest value and we must take every effort to avoid any further victims.

I have repeatedly said, and am ready to say again, and urge as many times as necessary to be heard: only negotiations and only a peaceful way will solve the crisis.

Today we must stop and think how to glue the country together. Not to split it, but glue it together. And what kind of glue do we need for that?

Definitely not arms, not guns, not rifles. Weapons will decide nothing!

I have maintained the  same position during all these years – for a strong, independent and united Ukraine. And my position has not changed today: Ukraine is a unified and united country.

I am convinced that the negotiating table is the only weapon we should use today.

Only the negotiating table can help to put the escalation of tensions to an end. Only the negotiating table can provide decisions that will benefit the entire country and every Ukrainian!

I was born and grew up in Donetsk. I live here. My home, my team, my friends and my family are here. And I will do everything possible to ensure that the voice of Donbass is heard, that Donbass is respected and, most importantly, that Donbass and Ukraine are together forever.

Rinat Akhmetov

President

System Capital Management

 

 

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