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Russia ready for any format of Ukraine crisis settlement


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Moscow, Aug 26 (IANS) Moscow is ready for any format of settlement to the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

"We are ready for any format, anything to start from the military confrontation to civil dialogue, to the national unity formation that was mentioned in the Feb 21 agreement," Lavrov said at a news briefing here, reported Xinhua.

On Tuesday, the presidents of the Customs Union member states, namely — Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and representatives from the European Union (EU) will gather in Minsk, capital of Belarus, to discuss the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia would not bend to the "language of ultimatums" during the meeting and urged the EU to put pressure on Kiev rather than on Moscow so the Ukrainian leadership would realise its responsibility for the country.

Lavrov urged Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to stop the civil war raging in the southeastern region of the country.

"We have recognised Poroshenko as president and expect him to use the presidential mandate to stop the war and not to incite further conflict," he said.

According to the minister, Russia is looking for ways to harmonise Ukraine’s relations with the Customs Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) free trade area and with the EU.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Kremlin does not rule out the possibility of a separate bilateral meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents in Minsk.

"We expect an honest conversation on resolving the Ukrainian crisis and humanitarian issues," he said.


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