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    Ukrainian tanks stand in the yard of an apartment block in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine. Fighting in the area around the town between Kiev forces and local militia escalated last week.

    Russia Open to Dialogue With US on Ukrainian Crisis

    © AP Photo / Evgeniy Maloletka
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    Moscow has never abandoned dialogue with Washington concerning the situation in Ukraine, according Russia's envoy to the EU.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is not avoiding dialogue with the United States on the situation in Ukraine, Russian envoy to EU Vladimir Chizhov said Thursday.

    "As for Russia, we have never abandoned and we are not abandoning the dialogue with the Americans on the situation in Ukraine…we'll see what is going to happen in the future," Chizhov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television.

    France and Germany have reservations about letting the United State join the Normandy Four group on Ukrainian reconciliation, Chizhov said.

    "The calls to expand the Normandy Four format by allowing some European countries [the UK and Poland], as well as the US, to join is not a new trend," he said.

    "Berlin and Paris have always had reservations in that respect…well, we will see what's going to happen," Chizhov added.

    Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

     

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

     

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    Tags:
    Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Chizhov, France, Germany, Donbass, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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