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MOSCOW, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Separate instances of violation of the ceasefire regime in Ukraine should not provoke new hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily’s Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement to the Spanish newspaper El Pais published on Wednesday.
“Our position is absolutely clear — we want peace in Ukraine that can be achieved only through a nationwide dialogue, involving all the country’s regions and political forces,” the minister said. Russia, the United States, European Union and Ukraine had reached the relevant agreement in Geneva on April 17, he added.
Lavrov said the Russian side was providing “active assistance in the creation of favorable conditions for the peaceful solution of serious problems that Ukraine is facing”.
Thus, on September 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin made public the seven-point plan of action on Ukraine’s crisis stabilization, and on September 5, representatives of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed in Minsk the Protocol on joint steps “that are aimed, among other things, at the implementation of the Russian president’s initiative”.
“This agreement is an important step in the process of peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, it is called upon to support the beginning of the internal Ukrainian political dialogue with the aim of searching for national accord ways. We proceed from the assumption that all the provisions of the documents should be strictly complied with,” the minister said.
According to him, Moscow notes the “observance of the ceasefire regime in general, although there have been separate incidents, for which the sides blame each other”. “It is important to make sure that they don’t become large-scale and don’t provoke new hostilities,” Lavrov said.
The Russian side, he added, “is concerned over the reports about the concentration of heavy weaponry of the Ukrainian security forces in one of the districts.” “The Kiev authorities have assured us that there are no plans to break the ceasefire regime. We will watch the situation closely,” Lavrov said. “We support the DPR and LPR leaders’ proposal to urgently deploy OSCE observers in the areas where the conflict sides come in contact with each other,” the foreign minister added.
“The priority and modality of the measures specified in the Minsk protocol will be additionally coordinated between the sides,” Lavrov said. “We count on support from foreign partners in the fulfilment of the document provisions,” he said.