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Russian FM speaks for soonest possible launch of peace process in Ukraine

July 01, 2014, 0:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 30, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday spoke for the launch of a comprehensive peace process in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported after Lavrov’s meeting with European Union member countries’ ambassadors and the head of the EU mission in Moscow.

“The minister pointed to the urgent need for conflicting sides in Ukraine to observe the truce and launch a full-fledged peace process between Kiev and representatives of southeastern regions,” the ministry said.

Lavrov also stressed that the Ukrainian authorities should bridle militants from paramilitary formations and resolve humanitarian issues in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast.

Despite the current complicated relations between Moscow and Brussels, the Russian foreign minister confirmed Russia’s readiness to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU.

Ukraine’s Channel 5 reported Monday that the country’s National Security and Defense Council is currently deciding on whether to extend the ceasefire in Ukraine’s Southeast.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, who had won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine and taken office on June 7, on June 27 extended by three days the weeklong ceasefire in Ukraine’s Southeast, which he unilaterally announced on June 20 and which was later supported by southeastern militias as well.

There have, however, been reports that the ceasefire has been repeatedly violated by Kiev.

Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation against southeastern regions’ residents supporting federalization. Hundreds of people, including civilians, have been killed, buildings destroyed and tens of thousands forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.

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