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Lavrov, Kerry Discuss Ukrainian Crisis, Stress Importance of Immediate Ceasefire

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Russian top diplomat Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry discussed the Ukrainian crisis over the phone Sunday and stressed the importance of an immediate ceasefire in the combat zones, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian top diplomat Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry discussed the Ukrainian crisis over the phone Sunday and stressed the importance of an immediate ceasefire in the combat zones, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The diplomats stressed that despite all the disagreements it was essential to reach an immediate ceasefire in the Ukrainian internal conflict and launch negotiations between the warring sides,” the statement reads.

Lavrov also urged Kerry to order his subordinates not to hamper work of the OSCE experts invited by Russia to Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The earlier reports suggested that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) plans to provide drones for its monitoring mission in the war zone in the southeast of Ukraine and on the border with Russia. The experts were invited by Russia earlier this month to assess the situation.

Since the beginning of the special military operation launched by Kiev to suppress independence supporters in the east of Ukraine, the clashes in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions neighboring the Russian border have become more frequent.

The violent confrontation between the Kiev-backed forces and militia even led to the shelling of the Russian territory.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday that Russia had registered nine strikes on its territory from Ukraine during the period of June and July of this year.

Several Russian border checkpoints have been closed recently due to the firing from Ukrainian territory. Gukovo, Donetsk and Novoshakhtinsk checkpoints were shut down as people were reported wounded in the fighting between the National Guard forces and independence supporters near the border checkpoints.

On July 13, shells exploded in the Russian city of Donetsk in Rostov region, killing one civilian and injuring two more.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the shelling of the Russian territory, urged Kiev to stop the attacks immediately, and warned that these provocations might have irreversible consequences.

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