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Russia stands for including Donetsk, Luhansk in Ukraine settlement talks — Lavrov

December 04, 2014, 14:34 UTC+3 BASEL

Lavrov believes that an honest and transparent investigation of all crimes in Ukraine will have special importance for restoring trust and for national reconciliation

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City of Donetsk

City of Donetsk

© Mikhail Pochuev/TASS

BASEL, December 4. /TASS/. Russia wants the Minsk process to continue and believes that all attempts to convert the negotiations into other formats without Donetsk and Luhansk taking part are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting of the OSCE foreign ministers on Thursday.

Lavrov said that “today all hopes are pinned on the implementation of the Minsk agreements between the authorities in Kiev and the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk, actively promoted by Russia and the OSCE.”

“Our military experts, invited by President Petro Poroshenko, are providing assistance to the conflicting partiers to complete the coordination of the disengagement line and practical steps for the pullout of heavy weapons, which will make it possible to deploy the observers of an OSCE special monitoring mission between the positions of the two sides,” he said.

Lavrov mentioned such follow-up steps as restoration of social and economic infrastructural ties, easing the grave humanitarian situation, completion of the exchange of hostages, beginning a genuine political process in the context of the long-promised national dialogue.

“Russia systematically supports the Minsk process and wants it to be continued. Attempts to convert the talks into other formats excluding representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk are unacceptable,” Lavrov said. “Only a direct dialogue between the Ukrainian parties can yield results. It should not be permitted the Minsk Accords have the same plight as the February 21 agreement and the Geneva Statement.

Lavrov believes that an honest and transparent investigation of all crimes, including the tragedies of Maidan, Odessa and Mariupol and the Malaysian Boeing disaster will have special importance for restoring trust and for national reconciliation.

“The OSCE, which has assumed the main functions of external support for a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis by deploying the special monitoring mission and participating in the contact group should build up its efforts along all these tracks,” Lavrov believes. “The current march of events gives the OSCE a unique opportunity for taking a wider initiative in overcoming negative trends in the Euroatlantic region and formulate a positive agenda with reliance on the entire combination of the Helsinki principles.”.

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