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Lavrov calls for direct talks, extended ceasefire in Ukraine

June 26, 2014, 23:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 26. /ITAR-TASS/. In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on thy on Thursday, June 26, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the need to extend the ceasefire in Ukraine and launch direct talks between the confronting sides, based on the results of the first consultations between Kiev and the south-eastern regions which were held in Donetsk on June 23.

The ceasefire was announced by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko on June 20 for seven days. It expires on Friday, June 27.

Earlier in the day, Lavrov discussed the situation in Ukraine with his German colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

During the call initiated by Kerry, he told Lavrov about the results of his recent trip to Iraq amid a dramatic deterioration of the situation caused by the offensive launched by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Lavrov and Kerry voiced concern about the stepped up activities of Islamic radicals, which poses a threat to security and stability in the region. The minister and the secretary agreed to continue consultations in order to facilitate normalisation of the situation in that country.

They also exchanged views on Syria and praised the successful implementation of the Russian-American initiative to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

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