OSCE roadmap for Ukraine backed by EU, Russia

A roadmap for settling the Ukraine crisis proposed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been supported by Russia, the European Union (EU), the US and the Kiev government.

Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who is also chairman of the OSCE, announced the document has received positive response. The roadmap is based on four fundamental principles – renunciation of violence, disarmament, national dialogue, and the May 25 Ukrainian presidential elections.

The EU Monday added 13 people to the list of those subject to targeted sanctions for alleged actions “undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence”.

The 13 people will be subjected to a travel ban and a freeze of their assets within the EU.

This brings to 61 those who are now subject to sanctions in connection with the Ukraine crisis.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday announced that Canada has imposed economic sanctions and travel bans against an additional six Russians and six Ukrainians who have facilitated Moscow s violation of Kiev’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Pro-Russian activists in Ukraine’s eastern towns of Donetsk and Luhansk held self-rule referendums Sunday, a move deemed illegal by the Kiev government and the West.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin constantly urging to postpone the referendum, the activists went ahead with it and also hinted that they intended to hold a second round later to join Russia.