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Lavrov calls on US to use influence on Ukraine to stop violence

June 14, 2014, 21:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Lavrov had a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday

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MOSCOW, June 14, 21:03 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the U.S. should use its influence upon Ukraine to halt violence.

Lavrov had a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday to discuss the unrest in Ukraine.

“The foreign minister stressed the need to immediately stop the punitive operation in the southeast. Despite Kiev’s assurances, the bloodshed continues,” the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

“Military actions, artillery and air strikes on settlements lead to numerous losses of lives and provocations on the Russian border, including the violations of the state border,” the ministry says.

During the conversation, Lavrov and Kerry discussed the situation in Ukraine in the context of international contribution to stopping violence in the southeast and starting a dialogue on the basis of the OSCE “roadmap” and the Geneva statement of April 17, 2014.

Lavrov expressed hope for Washington’s influence over creating favourable conditions for searching for mutually acceptable agreements at the talks on gas supplies and the effects of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

“The Secretary of State pledged to pay personal attention to these issues,” the ministry says.

In the meantime, the situation in Ukraine was in the focus of the telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin, his French counterpart Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The telephone conversation was held on the Western partners' initiative, the Kremlin press service says.

Putin, Hollande and Merkel discussed Ukraine's debt for Russian natural gas supplies and the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

They considered preparations for a U.N. Security Council draft resolution on de-escalation in Ukraine.

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