US to try to persuade Ukraine’s authorities to ease tensions in country – Kerry to Lavrov

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US Secretary of State John Kerry has assured Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the US will try to persuade Ukraine’s authorities to undertake concrete steps to stop tension in eastern Ukraine. Mr. Kerry said this during his phone talk with Mr. Lavrov on Saturday. The talk took place at the initiative of the American side.

A statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website says that John Kerry promised that the US will try to use its influence on Ukraine’s authorities to persuade them to undertake some anti-crisis measures. He hopes that residents of Ukraine’s southern and eastern regions will support peaceful initiatives of the Ukrainian government if there are any.

Lavrov urges US to assist release of protest movement leaders arrested in southeastern Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed the Ukrainian crisis during a telephone conversation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Lavrov has emphasized the necessity to take urgent measures to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, firstly to cease the military operation against protest participants and stop aggressive actions of radical nationalists of the Right Sector,” the document said.

The Russian foreign minister has also raised “the issue of political prisoners and urged the United States to use its influence for the release of protest movement leader arrested in southeastern Ukraine,” the statement said. “The attention of the Secretary of State has been drawn to the proposals of the Party of Regions and public movements of the southeast regarding the beginning of all-Ukraine national dialog and constitutional reform,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“Kerry assured that Washington will aspire to use its capabilities to encourage the Kiev authorities for certain steps to decrease tension and expressed hope that the southeastern regions will respond to these steps,” the statement said. “The parties have also discussed the measures being taken to resolve the situation with the detention of military monitors of European countries, who arrived to Ukraine upon the invitations of the Kiev authorities in the framework of procedures stipulated in the Vienna document of 2011 on measures to enhance trust and security and who went to the southeast without appropriate notification of public structures controlling the situation on sites,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Lavrov and Kerry have also “exchanged opinions on the operation to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons and its components, having noted that, as of today, 92% relevant materials have already been moved from Syria,” the document said. The telephone conversation was held upon the US initiative, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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