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Russian, Finnish PMs discuss bilateral relations, situation in Ukraine

July 15, 2014, 17:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The heads of the governments stressed the importance of the further development of bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic, investment, energy and other spheres
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Russian Prime Minister Dmutry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmutry Medvedev

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation as well as the ongoing military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine, the official website of the Russian government said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Having discussed key issue of Russian-Finnish relations, the heads of the governments stressed the importance of the further development of bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic, investment, energy and other spheres,” the statement said.

The telephone conversation was initiated by the government of Finland, the statement said.

“The telephone conversation also focused on the situation in Ukraine with the main emphasis of putting an end to the bloodshed in the southeast of the country as soon as possible,” the statement said adding that both Medvedev and Stubb agreed to maintain regular contacts and hold a bilateral meeting in the nearest future.

Calls from Russia and Finland to end the conflict in Ukraine as soon as possible were also made last month, when Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Finnish colleague Erkki Tuomioja in Finland’s southwestern city of Naantali.

At that time the top diplomats of Russia and Finland called for "real dialogue" between the capital, Kiev, and the regions.

Fierce fighting continues between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During its military operation conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, over 470 civilians have been killed and more than 1,390 wounded in the armed stand-off. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.

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