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“We do our best to contribute to efforts of launching a dialogue between Kiev and the Southeast,” Lavrov said. “Yesterday’s proposals, which [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin voiced after his telephone conversation with [Ukrainian] President [Petro] Poroshenko, are on the negotiations table.”
“We hope that the conflicting sides in Ukraine will make use of these ideas and will try to come to an agreement at the upcoming session of the Contact Group,” the top Russian diplomat said.
“We do not give up,” he said. “President Vladimir Putin personally makes great efforts in direct contacts with President Poroshenko to find such ways of cooperation that would allow to immediately put an end to bloodshed, remove the threat for civilians, ensure solution to humanitarian problems as well as problems of reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure, and, of course, to ensure the beginning of the negotiating political process.”
President Putin proposed on Wednesday a seven-point plan for the peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine following his telephone conversation with Ukrainian leader Poroshenko earlier that day.
The Russian president also expressed hope that agreements between the parties to the conflict would be reached on September 5 at a meeting of the contact group on Ukraine.
“I hope very much that the Ukrainian leadership will support the outlined progress in bilateral relations,” he said, adding that he hopes for Kiev’s active participation in the work of the trilateral Russia-Ukraine-EU contact group “for final and comprehensive settlement of the situation in the southeast of Ukraine, of course, on condition that the legitimate rights of people living there are secured in full and unconditionally.”
During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.
According to the United Nations data, more than 2,100 people have been killed and over 5,000 wounded between mid-April and mid-August in fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian army soldiers and local militiamen.