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    Kerry: US Not Seeking Conflict With Russia, but West’s Concerns Must Be Taken Seriously

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    The United States does not seek confrontation with Moscow and wants to solve international problems together, but Russia should take Western concerns over its role in the Ukrainian conflict seriously, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday.

    BERLIN, October 22 (RIA Novosti) – The United States does not seek confrontation with Moscow and wants to solve international problems together, but Russia should take Western concerns over its role in the Ukrainian conflict seriously, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday.

    During a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Kerry accused Moscow of violating Ukraine's sovereignty by reunifying with Crimea and allegedly supporting independence forces.

    He was quoted by the DPA news agency as saying that the international community wanted this to be taken seriously by "Russia, with whom we do not seek conflict, with whom we would much sooner be working together to solve the problems of the world."

    The two foreign policy chiefs also stressed the need to implement the Minsk agreements on de-escalating the Ukrainian crisis. Kerry underscored the role of Germany in the process.

    Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March. Accusing Moscow of interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs, the West introduced several waves of anti-Russian economic sanctions. Moscow denied any involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, branding the sanctions as illegal and introduced a one-year ban on certain food product imports from the countries that imposed the restrictions.

    Kiev authorities and independence forces of southeastern Ukraine reached a ceasefire deal at a September 5 Contact Group meeting comprising representatives from Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. According to UN estimates, the fighting has killed over 3,700 people and wounded more than 9,000 since April.

    Tags:
    ceasefire, John Kerry, Frank-Walter Steinmeier
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