Russia optimistic about Ukraine crisis resolution: Lavrov
Iran Press TV
Thu May 28, 2015 1:2PM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed optimism about a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine's volatile east under the provisions of the February Minsk truce deal.
'There is a real chance today for a peaceful settlement based on the Minsk agreements,' Lavrov told a meeting of the World Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in Moscow on Thursday.
He, however, voiced concern over the ongoing situation in Ukraine's Donbass - Donetsk and Lugansk regions, saying Moscow will continue its efforts to find solutions for the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.
Lavrov underscored the importance of a "full and consistent implementation" of the Minsk agreement measures, saying, 'The key precondition is the arrangement of Kiev's direct and sustainable dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.'
Ukraine's warring sides reached a deal, dubbed Minsk II, during a summit in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11 and 12. The agreement required an end to fighting, the pullout of heavy weapons from the restive areas and constitutional reform in Ukraine by the end of the year.
The peace deal has dampened much of the fighting in Ukraine's east but failed to halt violence at key hotspots as sporadic clashes erupt every now and then.
Donetsk and Lugansk, the two mainly Russian-speaking regions, have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and Ukrainian army troops since April 2014, when Kiev launched military operations against pro-Russians in control of government buildings there. More than 6,100 people have died in the 13-month conflict in the country, the United Nations says.
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