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Lavrov, Steinmeier discuss steps to deploy OSCE observers on Russia-Ukraine border

July 15, 2014, 15:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ministers agreed to coordinate efforts aimed at speeding up discussions on Russia’s initiative within the OSCE Standing Committee
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier

© EPA/SOEREN STACHE

MOSCOW, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier have discussed steps towards carrying out Russia’s initiative for inviting OSCE observers at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints on the Russia-Ukraine border.

The foreign ministers of the two countries had a telephone talk over this issue on Tuesday.

Germany praised Russia’s initiative and named it as a goodwill gesture, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

The ministers agreed to coordinate efforts aimed at speeding up discussions on Russia’s initiative within the OSCE Standing Committee.

On July 14, the ministry said Russia’s checkpoints of Donestk and Gukovo were ready for international monitoring.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent a letter to this effect to the chairman-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter.

"Russia has also submitted a draft resolution to the OSCE Standing Committee on the deployment of observers. We hope that the document will be approved shortly," the ministry says.

“We’re sure that this step will help create favorable conditions for ceasing fire and starting an inclusive and transparent dialogue in Ukraine in compliance with the Geneva statement of April 17 and the Berlin declaration of July 2,” the ministry says.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that representatives of Ukraine’s border service and OSCE observers be placed at these border-crossing points on the Russian territory for joint control of the border.

This proposal was put forth on June 30 after the four-party telephone conversation between the Russian, French, German and Ukrainian leaders, Lavrov said earlier.

Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a punitive operation against federalization supporters and militias in Ukraine’s war-torn southeast, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation and has resulted in hundreds of deaths, destruction of buildings and forced tens of thousands to flee Ukraine to Russia.

Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after President Petro Poroshenko, who had been elected in late May and taken office on June 7, decided to end the 10-day ceasefire in the southeast. When the truce was in effect, there were reports that it was repeatedly violated by Kiev.

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