Lavrov: US incite Kyiv to military scenario; it’s time for “Norman format” talks

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“These days the United States not only talk about tightening sanctions, they plan to provide more weapons for Ukraine,” said the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

It’s time for talks on Ukraine in the “Norman format”, there’s a possibility of holding a ministerial meeting next week. This statement was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“These days the United States not only talk about tightening sanctions, they plan to provide more weapons for Ukraine. There is a paradox: the Ukrainian authorities’ gross violation of its obligations according to the Minsk agreements signed on February 12, is approved by the US. Yesterday we were informed of a telephone conversation between US Vice President (Joseph Biden) and Ukrainian President (Petro Poroshenko), during which the US representative welcomed the law (on a special status for certain areas of Eastern Ukraine), adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on March 17,” admitted Lavrov.

“If Washington welcomes the actions that undermine the Minsk agreements, it can only be concluded that the US incite Kyiv to a military solution to the problems,” he pointed out. “Furthermore, they discussed the US assistance in training and equipping the National Guard of Ukraine. We consider it absolutely unacceptable to break the Minsk agreements. We can’t let them have the same fate as the agreement on February 21, 2014, which was signed by the President of Ukraine and the opposition and witnessed by the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland and then canceled the next day,” highlighted the Russian Foreign Ministry Head.

Geneva Declaration’s fate

“We cannot allow the Minsk agreements to have the same fate as other document had, I mean the Geneva Declaration signed on April 17,” said the Minister.

Lavrov reminded that, according to the Declaration, the Ukrainian side pledged to immediately start the constitutional reform through a national dialogue and with participation of all the regions and political forces. “This year marks the first anniversary of this obligation,” he added.

“We really hope that these actions of the Ukrainian authorities (on the status of Donbass), which, in fact, brought to naught the obligations (of Kyiv) on conducting a direct dialogue and negotiating with the south-east of Ukraine, including elections on the special status application, will not be neglected by Germany and France, whose leaders had given their credibility during the Minsk agreements on February 12,” noted Lavrov.

“I think it’s time for “Norman format” talks. I proposed the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany to urgently take joint steps to prevent the situation aggravation. We know that parliamentarians in Russia, Germany and France are concerned about this issue,” he continued.

“At the moment there is a common understanding that a meeting in the “Norman Format” at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers can be held next week. Taking into account the critical situation, I don’t exclude the possibility of the higher level of the meeting,” said Lavrov.

Text and pictures by TASS