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PARIS, July 28 /ITAR-TASS/. The French, US, British, German and Italian leaders are in favour of new sanctions against Russia, the press service of the French president said on Monday.
Its statement came after French President Francois Hollande’s telephone conversations on Monday with US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Great Britain and Italy, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi.
As combat operations continue in the east of Ukraine, they “have once again emphasized the importance of search for a political way out of the present crisis,” the document said. They accused Russia of failing to put efficient pressure on militia to “compel them to negotiations”, as well as of “failing to take expected from it concrete measures to ensure control on the Russian-Ukrainian border”.
Hollande, Obama, Merkel, Cameron and Renzi “confirmed they will keep a wary eye on any direct military assistance Russia could offer” to militia in eastern Ukraine.
They also said they wanted the Russian leadership “to assume the stance of true cooperation in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,” the statement said, adding that the five leaders had expressed their readiness to continue contacts with Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, said that while insisting on transparency around Ukraine, demanding from Russia to change its policy in that respect, the West itself did was not seeking openness.
“I have heard no political initiatives from western partners, they say ‘Russia must change its policy, and there will be sanctions until it changes it’,” Lavrov told a news briefing on Monday. “I don’t know what they imply by ‘changes’,” he added.
“We supported the OSCE road map, offered different forms of observers’ presence at border crossing points,” he said. “There is one explanation to why it took so long to solve such a simple issue - West’s efforts to stall the process, I don’t know why,” he said.