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“Our attitude is extremely negative,” Lavrov told a news conference after meeting Council of Europe General Secretary Thorbjorn Jagland.
“Everybody understands the malignity of NATO’s further expansion, which only moves the demarcation lines on the (European - TASS) continent,” Lavrov said.
“NATO was not the subject of my meeting with the Council of Europe general secretary. We did not discuss it: neither in the context of the Ukraine crisis nor NATO’s attempts to repurchase the Mistral helicopter carriers from France,” Lavrov said.
“We discussed the Council of Europe agenda, including those linked to the Ukraine crisis,” Lavrov stressed.
Lavrov said the Council of Europe could take part in monitoring the observance of law and order in all territory of Ukraine.
“We noted the importance to conduct an open and impartial investigation in violations of human rights in Ukraine, including the tragic events on Maidan, in Odessa, Mariupol and other settlements. We’re convinced that the Council of Europe is designed to play an important role,” he said after a meeting with Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland.
“The Council of Europe has created a consultative group for investigating the events on Maidan and the tragedy in Odessa,” Lavrov said.
“I believe that the Council of Europe’s experience and impartial attitude towards such high profile incidents would be used and in demand,” he said.
“We believe that in compliance with its regulations and its conventions the Council of Europe could be involved in the efforts for monitoring the observance of law and order in all territory of Ukraine. We regularly observe incidents in the southeast and other regions,” Lavrov said.
The decree of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on the economic blockade of the country's southeast does contribute to settling the crisis, says the Russian foreign minister.
“Poroshenko’s decree, which in fact envisages economic blockade of these regions, does not offer help in easing tensions,” Lavrov said after talks with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland.
“We want Donetsk, Luhansk and the Kiev authorities to start restoring ties as soon as possible,” Lavrov said, adding that the leaders of the eastern regions who were elected during the November 2 vote have called for re-establishing a joint economic, cultural and political space.
Lavrov said there is a common understanding that the inter-Ukrainian crisis can be resolved only by political means "through launching an inclusive dialogue with the goal of searching for the ways to reach national unity."
On November 15, Poroshenko instructed the government to stop the activities of government agencies, banks and enterprises in the zone of military operation and withdraw personnel.