MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond discussed on Saturday the situation in Ukraine and stressed the importance of the implementation by the authorities in Kiev of the provisions outlined in the Geneva statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“[The diplomats] stressed the necessity of a speedy implementation by the authorities in Kiev of the provisions outlined in the April 17 Geneva statement,” the ministry said in a statement.
Lavrov and Hammond also focused on the humanitarian situation in the conflict zone. The Russian minister told his British counterpart about Russia’s efforts to provide citizens of Ukraine’s southeast with humanitarian assistance and said that Russia is in close cooperation with international organizations on this issue.
On April 17, top diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US met in Geneva and agreed on a set of measures to de-escalate the tensions in crisis-hit Ukraine. The joint communique called on the warring sides in particular to refrain from violence and launch a national dialogue. Despite the deal, tensions in the country continued to escalate with Moscow repeatedly slamming Kiev for neglecting the Geneva statement.
The Ukrainian conflict, which initially erupted as a series of anti-government protests, has by now turned into a large-scale crisis teetering on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. Thousands of people have already fled the country seeking shelters in neighboring Russia and those who stayed are now trapped in combat zones.
On Tuesday, Russia came up with a proposal at the UN Security Council to deploy an international humanitarian mission with Russian humanitarian aid under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine’s troubled eastern regions.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said Moscow is calling on the international community to take urgent measures to render humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Ukraine’s east. In this case, Churkin stressed, Russia was ready for “highest possible transparency.”