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Iran Press TV

No breakthrough reached at Minsk talks on Ukraine: Lavrov

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:20AM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says no visible progress has been made in a recent quadrilateral meeting on the peace process in conflict-stricken eastern Ukraine.

On Tuesday, foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany held a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to shore up a shaky peace process in eastern Ukraine, which has witnessed deadly clashes between Kiev's troops and pro-Moscow forces.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Lavrov said that "there were no breakthroughs," in talks because the foreign ministers could not agree on a roadmap on how to implement a ceasefire agreement struck in Minsk last year to end the fighting.

The top Russian diplomat said that sharp disagreements on security and other issues remain.

"At an operational level we did not succeed, even in agreeing the sequence of steps, first of all in the fields of security and political reforms that must be put in place," he said.

However, he said that the meeting was "already positive that the agreements reached by our leaders on Oct. 19th are not being questioned."

The four nations agreed in October to work out a "roadmap" this month on how to implement the Minsk agreement sponsored by France and Germany.

Conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine after people in the country's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea decided to separate from Ukraine and reunite with Russia in a March 2014 referendum.

The West, however, brands the development as Moscow's annexation of the territory. The US and its allies in Europe also accuse Moscow of having a hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, a claim Moscow denies.

Donetsk and Lugansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations later in April 2014 to crush pro-Moscow protests there.

The crisis has left nearly 10,000 people dead and over 21,000 others injured, according to the United Nations.

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