Kiev thinks that a bilateral ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is possible, but only if effective border control is established, the work of the OSCE observers is ensured and progress in the hostage situation is made, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Monday.
“We talked about the key issues. Absolute priorities for me were the effective control of the border, the possibility for the OSCE observers to fully monitor and verify, and of course, the real progress on the hostages issue. These questions are the key ones in promoting the idea of bilateral ceasefire,” Klimkin said in a briefing, commenting on the results of the four-party talks in Berlin.
The minister added that during the meeting there was discussion on humanitarian aid to the eastern regions of Ukraine.
Negotiations between Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Pavlo Klimkin of Ukraine, seeking to end fighting in eastern Ukraine were held Sunday night at the Villa Borsig hotel in Berlin, Germany. They were also attended by German foreign chief Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his counterpart in France, Laurent Fabius. According to Steinmeier, the talks were difficult, but the sides made some progress on certain points. After the negotiations, Lavrov specifically mentioned that the ceasefire must be unconditional, noting that Kiev was constantly trying to set his own terms for it.
Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the southeastern regions of Ukraine that had refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government after the February coup.
Russia has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s actions and urged for peaceful dialogue with representatives of Ukraine’s southeastern regions.