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Russia hopes US uses its influence to stop violence in Ukraine

June 05, 2014, 23:12 UTC+3 PARIS
This said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry
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© EPA/MARTIAL TREZZINI

PARIS, June 05 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian side hopes the United States will use its influence on Ukrainian president-elect Pyotr Poroshenko to stop violence and Kiev’s punitive operation in Ukraine’s Southeast, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.

The bilateral talks were held Thursday in a downtown Paris hotel on the eve of celebrations in France to mark the 70th anniversary of the landing of Allied troops in Normandy during World War II in June 1944.

“We drew our American colleagues’ attention again to the fact that matters should be handled in Ukraine in the context of the Geneva statement and the OSCE presidency-submitted roadmap based on it,” Lavrov said.

“John Kerry agreed that the situation needs to be returned to that framework and that the key demand is to stop any violence,” he said.

The top Russian diplomat said the sides “clearly confirmed the necessity to immediately stop the army operation [conducted by Kiev against federalization supporters in the Southeast of Ukraine].”

“It has gone beyond all limits: artillery and aviation open fire on peaceful quarters, more and more civilians are dying,” Lavrov said.

He also drew Kerry’s attention to the fact that some US and European Union actions, including statements by G7 leaders, do not contribute to a constructive dialogue.

“On the contrary, they create the illusion of permissiveness for some figures in Kiev. Such an approach will not lead to anything good,” the Russian foreign minister said.

“We hope very much that the US influence on Ukrainian president-elect Poroshenko will be used to stop inciting tensions and confrontation,” he said.

The Geneva Statement, adopted after the April 17 meeting on Ukraine that involved Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine, in particular envisions that all illegal armed formations should be disarmed in Ukraine, all administrative buildings unblocked and all protesters except for those who committed serious crimes pardoned.

Massive protests against the new Kiev authorities, propelled to power during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s southeastern territories, mainly the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, after Crimea’s reunification with Russia following a referendum in March.

Demonstrators in the Southeast, who have been demanding Ukraine’s federalization, seized some government buildings. An antiterrorism operation, conducted by Kiev against federalization supporters since mid-April, has already claimed dozens of lives, including civilian.

Russia has repeatedly called on Kiev to stop the punitive operation, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, and start dialogue with the Southeast.

The southeastern Ukrainian regions’ population has formed militia units and proclaimed the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.

Referendums were held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

Billionaire businessman and politician Pyotr Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential elections in Ukraine, which were set by the coup-imposed Kiev authorities. He is to be sworn in on June 7. Poroshenko earlier told media he had funded anti-government protests that led to February's coup.

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