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Russia – Germany call for national dialogue in Ukraine

Kiev and militias in E.Ukraine should continue a direct dialogue in the light of the national and local Donetsk and Lugansk elections, the Russian FM said after meeting his German counterpart. Both called for further implementation of the Minsk deal

Sergey Lavrov stressed that “the most important task” is to continue the dialogue between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics following the Ukrainian parliamentary elections in October and the local November elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The latter were not recognized by Kiev or the rest of the world.

“The Russian delegation will continue contributing to the creation of favorable conditions for the establishment of such a sustainable direct dialogue,” said Lavrov following a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier who was on his first visit to Moscow since February.

Russia and Germany see a common task in settling the conflict, said Lavrov pointing to the fulfilment of the Minsk agreement, which includes the establishing of a national dialogue.

The Minsk peace deals are probably the only acts which are supported by all parties without exclusion – by Ukrainian conflicting parties, Russia, Belarus, the European Union and the United States. Therefore, the main task is to create conditions for the Minsk peace process to resume,” Lavrov said.

Donetsk residents cast their votes at Polling Station No. 137 during the elections for the head and the People's Council of the Donetsk People's Republic. (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

Donetsk residents cast their votes at Polling Station No. 137 during the elections for the head and the People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic. (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

Steinmeier agreed saying that the Minsk protocol cannot be abandoned. In tune with Lavrov, the German foreign minister said that the agreement is not generally being implemented, adding that it should be given new impetus.

Steinmeier elaborated that he sees no optimism about the implementation of the Minsk agreement with the current tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“There is no reason for optimism in the current situation,” he said. “What we’ve got to do is work hard, work hard to convince people in a situation in which the (peace) process that was previously started apparently isn’t able to function on its own.”

There “is and will not be” any military solution to the Ukrainian conflict Steinmeier stressed.

He added that “we have come closer to the solution” by separating the conflicting sides. According to the minister, a relevant document which will allow the withdrawal heavy weapons from the conflict zone should be signed.

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