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Lavrov: contact group for Russia-Ukraine talks ‘unacceptable format’

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PETROPAVLOVSK KAMCHATSKY, March 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The contact group proposed by the West for talks between Russia and Ukraine is “absolutely unacceptable” as it would mean that Moscow will have to start a dialogue with the persons who have seized power in Kiev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sergei Brilev’s Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) television programme on March 29.

“My latest meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in The Hague and my contacts with Germany, France and several other countries show the outlines of a possible joint initiative that could be offered to our Ukrainian colleagues. This is a very important clarification because until now our partners proposed creating some contact group where Russia and those who have seized power in Kiev would negotiate an agreement under their [Western countries’] supervision,” Lavrov said.

“This is an absolutely unacceptable format, and this is not what we are talking about,” he said.

Speaking about the measures that should be taken to normalise the situation in Ukraine, Lavrov stressed the need to stop the rampage of armed gangs, disarm illegal armed groups, and free illegally seized buildings, squares, streets, towns and villages.

“First of all, I mean the maidan [protest actions in Kiev’s Independence Square]. It’s such a shame for a European country, for one of the most beautiful cities in Europe to keep this maidan for six months in front of Western visitors’ eyes. We are told that the maidan will continue until they hold presidential elections and see the result that will satisfy the maidan. It’s just a disgrace for those who tolerate this,” Lavrov said.

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