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Russian FM stresses importance of Kiev’s direct dialogue with Donetsk, Luhansk

November 12, 2014, 16:52 UTC+3

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had telephone conversation with US State Secretary John Kerry

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday in a telephone converstion with US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the situation in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

Lavrov stressed the importance of Kiev’s direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, the ministry’s statement said.

“When exchanging opinions on the current situation in Ukraine’s south-east, Lavrov specially underlined that organizing stable direct dialogue between Kiev and Lugansk and Donetsk is a priority in the context of elections held there,” the ministry said.

Lavrov also said that “disruption of the implementation of the Minsk agreements is inadmissible.”

Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics on November 2. The EU claimed they were illegitimate. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Moscow “respects the will expression of the residents of the southeast (of Ukraine).”

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway southeastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19 in Minsk, which outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point document in particular stipulates a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

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