Lavrov calls on US to convince Kiev to stop military operation in southeastern Ukraine

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope Friday that the US administration will continue applying pressure on Kiev regime in order to stop military action against federalists in southeastern Ukraine. Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry discussed in a phone call ways for foreign mediators, including Russia, the United States, the European Union and the OSCE, to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.

Lavrov expressed hope that taking into account US positive response to the roadmap developed by the Swiss presidency in the OSCE “Washington will work closely with Kiev to put an end to military action in southeastern Ukraine, release political prisoners and pardon protest activists,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Russian minister again called on equitable dialogue between Kiev authorities and pro-federalization activists in southeastern Ukraine with mediation by the OSCE.

Earlier Tuesday Lavrov said that Moscow believes the tensions that have ripened in Ukrainian society were used by Western countries to advance their own interests and called on the US and EU to contribute to a nationwide dialogue in Ukraine instead of further aggravating the situation.

Meanwhile, Western officials including John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State on European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland made statements that Kiev “has every right to use the army for carrying out the so-called counterterrorism operation and that all this is justified because a state has monopoly on the use of force.”

Despite April Geneva accords that required Kiev to lay down arms, military operation against pro-federalization protesters have continued.

Last Friday saw the bloodiest violence since the country’s regime change in February. The highest casualty toll was reported in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, where at least 46 people died and over 200 were injured.

Moscow has described Kiev’s actions as a punitive operation that is destroying any remaining hope for the implementation of the Geneva accords.

 

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