Moscow to promote contacts between Kiev, pro-Russians: Lavrov
Iran Press TV
Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:10PM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow is working to promote contacts between the government in Kiev and pro-Russia forces "within days" in a bid to stop the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
"Certain contacts are planned within days as far as I know. We are trying as far as we have the powers and opportunities to facilitate these contacts," Lavrov said in the Russian capital on Monday.
He added that Russia is "convinced that the peace process must be revived and for that, we are making the necessary efforts primarily in order to finally start full, stable and direct dialogue between Kiev and the militias."
The top Russian diplomat accused Ukraine's government of attempting to spoil the peace process with its onslaught in the restive eastern region.
"We see attempts to derail the peace process. We see again and again attempts made by the Kiev authorities to solve the problem through crushing the southeast by force," Lavrov said, adding, "These attempts have no future and most importantly lead to more and more victims among civilians."
The Russian foreign minister also criticized Western countries of a "chronic" habit of blaming all violent attacks in Ukraine on pro-Russians.
Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russia protests there in mid-April 2014.
According to the latest figures released by the United Nations, more than 5,000 people have been killed in the fighting, and over 1.5 million others displaced.
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