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MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The U.S. has not changed their rhetoric or policies regarding Ukraine, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Saturday.
"Surely, we have been using every contact with the American counterparts to induce them to refuse from the destructive rhetoric, and, most importantly - to correct their policies in the Ukrainian direction," he said. "It would be exaggeration to say about any results here."
"Perhaps, we should be working even more hard," he said.
"Our logic is - in the interests of stability and settlement, Kiev should begin a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, should refrain imperatively from any attempts of force destabilisation," he said. "We shall continue promoting this logic."
"As we see changes not that much in the rhetoric, but in realistic activities of the U.S. Administration in this aspect, then we shall be able to discuss some further details," he continued. "No signs of that as yet."
The U.S. has been demonstrating interest not only to the so-called Normandy Format, but also to the Contact Group, where involvement of the kind is not reasonable now, the diplomat said.
"I have spent much time studying speeches, statements, analysing what is said in the contacts with us and our representatives behind closed doors," he said. "I have been fixing for quite a time the American party's aspiration for joining these formats, but we do not see reasons for that."
Regular talks of the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group on east Ukrainian settlement comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were held in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 10-12. Talks of the Normandy Four leaders on the Ukrainian issue also ended February 12 in Minsk.
A 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September Minsk agreements was adopted at those talks.
The package in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including enforcement of a special self-rule status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the OSCE agreed on a ceasefire at talks on September 5, 2014 in Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. The ceasefire has reportedly been numerously violated since.
Ukraine’s parliament on September 16, 2014 adopted the law on a special self-rule status for certain districts in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions for three years. The law took effect October 18, 2014 but was then repealed by Kiev.
The Trilateral Contact Group adopted a memorandum on September 19, 2014 in Minsk. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibres of over 100 millimetres to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling implementation of the memorandum provisions.