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MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is expected to take part in a meeting Wednesday with the Foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Ukraine. The talks are to be held in Berlin and deal with efforts towards settling the Ukrainian crisis.
Russia's Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday night that Lavrov, during a telephone conversation with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had upheld the idea of gathering in such a format.
The Ministry official said, "In furtherance of efforts to bring the situation back to the negotiating channel, the proposal made by Frank-Walter Steinmeier to hold a meeting in Berlin on July 2 of the Foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine in Berlin was supported with due regard for the understandings reached during their teleconference on June 30 on instructions of the leaders of the four states".
Lavrov and Steinmeier discussed the situation taking shape in Ukraine in the light of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's decision not to extend the ceasefire, the Ministry official pointed out.
"Both Ministers expressed concern in view of the intensification of combat actions in Ukraine's south-east, called for putting an end to the bloodshed, and declared in favour of an urgent resumption of the activities of the Contac Group with a view to fixing by the sides of matters regarding cessation of fire and the creation of conditions for the start of talks," the Ministry official emphasized.
On Monday, Lavrov conveyed the proposal made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to post officials of Ukraine's Border Service and OSCE observers at Ukraine's bordec-crossing stations for joint monitoring and removal of any suspicions.
Lavrov expressed hope that the Russian President's initiative would enable those, on whom this depends, to support and ensure the making of a decision on an extension of the ceasefire and truce.