MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow expects the results of Wednesday's four-party ministerial meeting in Berlin will persuade Kiev to return to its previous ceasefire agreement.
“We expect that the positive results of the four-party meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine on July 2 in Berlin that ended in a joint declaration will persuade Ukraine to immediately return to its ceasefire regime,” the ministry said.
“We once again urge the Ukrainian authorities to stop striking civilian objects and protect the lives of the people,” the statement by the ministry adds.
Earlier on Tuesday, soon after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called off the ten-day ceasefire in the country’s east without a further extension, the Ukrainian National Guard resumed the active phase of the military operation launched by the authorities in Kiev back in mid-April to suppress a protest movement.
The first victims have already been reported in airstrikes and artillery attacks launched by pro-Kiev forces against independence supporters in the east.
The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said earlier they were willing to continue consultations with the Ukrainian authorities to defuse the crisis in the country. Kiev also said it was ready for talks, with the participation of the contact group involving Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
According to a joint statement issued Wednesday by the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, the contact group on Ukrainian reconciliation should convene no later than July 5.