Lavrov, Kerry agree that Ukraine’s government should hold national dialogue – Russian FM

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and key had a second telephone conversation on Wednesday, April 9, during which the American top diplomat said his country was taking steps to use its influence with the authorities in Kiev and prod them into starting a national dialogue in order to normalize the situation in the southeast of the country and make the constitutional reform truly representative. “The Russian minister and the US secretary agreed that progress on these tracks would facilitate a meeting between Russia, the US, the European Union, and Ukrainian representatives in order to help settle the crisis in Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

In a telephone conversation earlier in the day, Lavrov and Kerry spoke against the use of force in the southeast of Ukraine, TASS reports.

Lavrov told Kerry the quadripartite meeting on Ukraine should help foster equal dialogue in Ukraine.

The Russian minister and the US secretary discussed “international assistance to the resolution of the acute political crisis in Ukraine, including a multilateral meeting between Russia, the US, the European Union and Ukrainian representatives,” the Foreign Ministry said.

He said Russia would attend a quadripartite meeting on Ukraine with the United States, the European Union and the Ukrainian authorities only if it helped Kiev foster contacts with all political and regional forces inside the country.

The West has suggested holding a meeting on the situation in Ukraine. “April was named as a tentative date,” he recalled and stressed that Russia’s position was simple. “This is an internal Ukrainian crisis, and those who are holding the reins of power in Kiev now must invite all regions, all political forces to start a dialogue on the constitution, on the language and all other aspects.”

Lavrov said Russia had so far received no reply to its inquiries, including those concerning rumors that Kiev is planning to sell ballistic missile technologies. “We asked the Americans what they think about this. They keep silent,” the minister said.

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