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Lavrov, Kerry discuss threat to Minsk agreements, fight against Islamic State

December 28, 2015, 21:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In discussing Russian-American relations, Lavrov emphasized hopelessness of US sanction pressure on Russia, which only undermines possibilities of bilateral cooperation
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (left) and US Secretary of State John Kerry

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (left) and US Secretary of State John Kerry

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, December 28./TASS/. In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asked him to exert influence on Kiev to compel the Ukrainian authorities to strictly abide by the Minsk agreements, as well as urged the US not to set preconditions in the setting up of a united front to fight Islamic State, a terrorist group banned in Russia, the Foreign Ministry reported after the conversation initiated by the US.

"The prospects of overcoming the crisis in Syria, including within the context of the talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition organized by UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, with a view to reaching a political settlement were discussed," the ministry said. "Lavrov also pointed to the need to abandon preconditions in creating a single front to fight against IS and other terrorist groups."

"The minister drew attention to the incident in which OSCE observers and a filming crew of VGTRK television came under fire from Ukrainian positions near the settlement of Kominternovo in Donbas," saying this put in jeopardy the Minsk agreements, the ministry reported.

The Russia foreign minister "called on the US Secretary of State to use America’s influence on Kiev to have it strictly abide by its commitments under the Package of Measures agreed in Minsk," the ministry said.

"In discussing Russian-American relations, Lavrov emphasized hopelessness of US action to build up sanction pressure on Russia, which only undermines possibilities of bilateral cooperation on pressing international issues, in which Washington constantly appeals to us for assistance in the their settlement," the report said.

The ministry said the sides had also discussed practical implementation of the Joint Plan of Action on the settlement of the situation around Iran’s nuclear program.

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