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    US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

    Lavrov, Kerry Discuss Minsk Agreements on Ukraine Reconciliation by Phone

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry had a phone conversation about the implementation of the Minsk agreements on reconciliation in Ukraine.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements on reconciliation in Ukraine in a phone conversation Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    "The minister noted the importance of Kiev's direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk, including ending the hostilities in the Debaltsevo area as soon as possible," the ministry said in a statement.

    The phone talk was held on a US initiative.

    Later in the day, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France — the members of the so-called Normandy Quartet that worked out the Donbas truce deal last week are expected to discuss the current situation in eastern Ukraine by phone.

    The ceasefire between the warring sides became effective on February 15 and was observed almost everywhere in southeastern Ukraine, except for the city of Debaltsevo and its environs, a key transport hub, where several thousand Ukrainian soldiers remained encircled.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the operation to withdraw Kiev troops from the encirclement in Debaltsevo had been completed.

    Lavrov and Kerry also discussed "other issues, including Syrian reconciliation and the schedule of possible bilateral contacts," the statement reads.

    Between January 26 and 29, Moscow hosted intra-Syrian talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition in a bid to find a solution to the Syrian conflict that erupted in 2011.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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