14:09 GMT22 September 2020
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    Moscow is ready to hold talks in 'Normandy Four' format on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in China to discuss peace process in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Normandy Four is diplomatic group of senior representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France to resolve the ongoing armed conflict in Donbass.

    "If our German, and French partners, as well as Chinese hosts, agree with Kiev's proposal to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, we will certainly be ready for that," Lavrov said following a Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran summit in Baku.

    Lavrov stressed that such a meeting "would be quite timely and appropriate" in light of the deterioration of the conflict situation in eastern Ukraine.

    At the same time, Russia is seriously concerned about current situation in eastern Ukraine and violations of Minsk accords by Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

    "We are undoubtedly gravely concerned with what is happening in Donbass… We are concerned with increase in the number of Ukrainian Armed Forces' troops on the contact line, concerned with heavy weapon continually disappearing from depots, where it should be stationed… all this is happening amid belligerent rhetoric, to the point of threats to apply all measures available to resolve problems, which exist in Donbass, coming from Kiev, including from officials," Lavrov told a press conference.

    The foreign minister stressed that such behavior by Kiev contravenes the Minsk agreements. He said Moscow also was worried by intensified shelling of civilians targets in eastern Ukraine, including of hospitals, schools, and kindergartens, as reported by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM).

    The SMM published a spot report on Saturday that said a bomb had been detonated a couple of yards from the car that belonged to Igor Plotnitsky, the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic. He was hospitalized. The region’s security ministry is probing several possible links, including to Ukrainian saboteurs sent in by Kiev.


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