MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed concern over escalating tensions in Donbass Wednesday in a phone call with Swedish Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde.
"The key attention was paid to the situation in southeast Ukraine. The Russian side expressed concerns over the escalation of the conflict caused by Kiev’s redeployment of personnel and military equipment to the line of engagement as well as shelling of neighborhoods of Donetsk and Lugansk by the Ukrainian Armed Forces that became a regular occurrence," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The minister voiced hope that Sweden, as the current OSCE chair, will make necessary efforts to compel Kiev to strictly abide by its obligations in conflict settlement, including resolution of humanitarian problems of populations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) primarily by recognizing the fact that these territories are subjected to an economic blockade.
Lavrov reaffirmed that Moscow is interested in settling the conflict exclusively by peaceful means based on the Minsk Package of Measures that has no alternatives.
"The necessity was noted that the parties to the conflict, Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, to strictly implement the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire agreed in the Contact Group in July 2020," the diplomatic agency pointed out in the statement. "The Russian side also stressed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in the current situation needs to step up efforts of unbiased observation of the situation on both sides of the line of engagement in Donbass and primarily instances of civilian deaths and civil infrastructure destruction.".