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    Lavrov: Russia, West Should Persuade Ukraine to Deliver on Minsk Agreements

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    All mediators should put pressure on Ukraine to deliver on the Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

    Updated 5:03 p.m. Moscow Time

    KIRKENES, Norway, October 25 (RIA Novosti) – All mediators should put pressure on Ukraine to deliver on the Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

    "We would like the Minsk agreements to be consistently implemented. These agreements are very significant, as the Kiev authorities and self-defense forces in the south-east [of Ukraine] have for the first time reached an accord on particular steps to deescalate the conflict with the assistance of Russia and the OSCE," Lavrov said.

    "We believe that all external players, including Russia and the Western countries, should prompt the Ukrainian side to fully implement these agreements," Lavrov said after talks with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende.

    The crisis in Ukraine escalated in mid-April when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the country's southeastern regions.

    On September 5, during a meeting of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Minsk, a ceasefire agreement was signed between Kiev and Ukraine's self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Additional ceasefire provisions were agreed upon during the second meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in the Belarusian capital on September 19.

    Since then, both the Kiev forces and independence fighters repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce.

    Although Russia has repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, the West has been accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs and has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia.

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    OSCE, Sergei Lavrov
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