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    A boy sits on a swing near a building, which was damaged during fighting between Kiev and Donbass forces, as an armoured personnel carrier (APC) of the Ukrainian armed forces is seen nearby in Avdeyevka near Donetsk. June 7, 2015.

    Russia Has Never Asked US to Appoint Special Envoy for Ukraine, Deputy FM Says

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    Russia has never asked the United States to appoint a special envoy for Ukraine, and has only ever expressed its readiness for a dialogue with the US partners on issues related to the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik Radio.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In July, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the appointment of Kurt Volker, who previously served as US permanent representative to NATO, as US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Later in the month, media reported, citing Tillerson, that Volker was appointed following the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "I do not want to comment the statements of these or those officials, but I assure you that the Russian side has never turned to the United States with such a request," Ryabkov said.

    The Russian senior official added that Putin had told the US side that Moscow was ready for a dialogue with Washington on issues related to the Ukrainian crisis, even during the tenure of former US President Barack Obama.

    "We have not requested the appointment of any US special envoy. We have just said that it was odd to say that the dialogue is needed, if there is no such a person," the diplomat said.

    The international community, including Russia, Germany and France, has been taken a number of steps aimed at settling the crisis in the southeastern Ukraine. The conflict has been ongoing since 2014, when the new government in Kiev came to power after what many considered to be a coup.


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