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MOSCOW, February 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia urges its EU partners to utilize their contacts with the Ukrainian oppositionist quarters for stimulating the latter towards cooperation with Ukrainian leadership, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday upon the completion of a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier.
The conversation concerned the latest highly dramatic developments in Ukraine where no less than 25 people have been killed in clashes between riot police units and militants since Tuesday afternoon.
Lavrov reaffirmed the consistency of Russia’s position in favor of settling the current crisis in an exclusively constitutional way along with respect for the powers and competences of the Ukrainian government.
He also called on the West-European partners to use their routine contacts with the Ukrainian opposition for motivating it to observe the agreements and to break up with the radical forces that have unleashed the bloodletting and have chosen the path of a state coup.
The Foreign Ministry’s report also say Steinmeier called for pooling the Russian and EU efforts to defuse the situation and to tap a compromise solution.
The ministers agreed to maintain contacts for an exchange of opinions on the problems they had discussed.
The conversation took place at a request from the German side.
Russia's permanent representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov criticized proposed sanctions against Ukrainian officials saying they were untimely and politically motivated in the current situation.
"The issue of sanctions in the situation of acute confrontation, which is actually an attempt to overthrow the government is inopportune at the very least and untimely in any case," Chizhov told Russian reporters.
If the EU decides on such measures against the incumbent Ukrainian leadership, it will mean that Brussels "unequivocally sides with the forces trying to overthrow, by using illegal means, the democratically elected government and the president." Chizhov said. "Pinpoint sanctions will have no effect in the present situation anyway. It's a political gesture.