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Russia FM admits US influence could be "good thing" for Ukraine settlement

December 15, 2015, 10:56 UTC+3

According to Sergey Lavrov, the United States could influence Kiev in promoting the work of the Normandy format

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US State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

US State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. The United States could influence Kiev in promoting the work of the Normandy format, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday at talks with US State Secretary John Kerry.

"Of course, we would like to continue the discussion of our presidents about US’ possible contribution to the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis," Lavrov said. "Taking into account Washington’s influence on Kiev, it could be a good thing for the work in the Normandy format," he added.

"We will discuss those issues of bilateral relations that you consider necessary. We will later report about the talks at the meeting with Russian President (Vladimir Putin," the foreign minister noted.

Normandy format

The "Normandy format" brings together Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The format was first established in June 2014, when the four leaders held talks on the Ukrainian crisis during D-Day celebrations in Normandy.

On February 12, the sides signed the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine after negotiations in Minsk.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

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