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Russian Foreign Minister Calls Stability in East Ukraine Top Priority

Author: Ayre от 24.06.2015, 11:00
(голосов: 1)
Servicemen walk on May 28, 2015 around Ukrainian positions on the frontline facing eastern Ukrainian independence supporters near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine

PARIS (Sputnik) — The top Russian diplomat travelled to Paris on Tuesday to participate in the so-called Normandy-format meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, France’s Laurent Fabius and Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"We noted that, despite the necessity of progress, the goal of stabilizing the military situation and restoring security [in Donbass] is of paramount importance," Lavrov said, adding there has recently been a rise in ceasefire violations in the conflict zone.

Some of the violations concerned the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line, as stipulated in the Minsk peace agreement.

He added there was a proposal to extend the requirement for the arms withdrawal "not only to heavy weapons of more than 100mm caliber, as it was indicated in the Minsk deal, but also to armaments of a smaller caliber."

Lavrov said he hoped that Normandy Four countries – Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia – would pressure the warring parties in Ukraine into following through on the Minsk ceasefire deal.

"I do hope that we will take every step to force the sides in the conflict to stick to the Minsk agreements."

He added Moscow hoped that OSCE’s new representative in the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine – that includes envoys from Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – will continue the work of his predecessor.

Austria’s Martin Sajdik has recently succeed Switzerland’s Heidi Tagliavini as OSCE envoy to the Group representing OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ivica Dacic.

"We greeted this appointment and expressed hope for continuity in his work, primarily when it comes to strict adherence to the entirety of the peace deal that was agreed on February 12 in Minsk," Lavrov stressed.

In this regard, the Russian foreign minister warned that certain forces were still promoting a brute-force solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

"At this point, there is clear realization that attempts of certain forces to advocate a brute-force solution presents a danger [to the peace process]."


German, French Foreign Chiefs See No Alternative to Minsk Deal on Ukraine Peace


French and German foreign ministers said they see no alternative to the Minsk deal on Ukrainian reconciliation, Russian foreign policy chief Sergei Lavrov said early Wednesday.

“My German and French colleagues, for instance, have underscored that there is no alternative to the Minsk-2 [agreement].”

He added they had agreed to pursue the entire package of measures stipulated in the February ceasefire agreement.

“We agreed that… it is important to follow through on it in every sphere. It’s not that essential that we condition one measure on another – but we must see progress on every single point that was outlined in this package.”

The minister also said the four top diplomats emphasized the importance of direct dialogue between Kiev and the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

“Most of the time we discussed the topic that preoccupied our leaders – the goal of establishing a direct dialogue between Kiev, Lugansk and Donetsk…,” Lavrov said.

He urged not to discard the political part of the Minsk agreements.

“This is also true of the military-political sphere, as well as security and economy, and last but not least – the sphere of political reforms,” he said.

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