MOSCOW, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Monday urged the West to exercise its influence over Ukrainian authorities in order to ensure the full implementation of the Minsk agreement as this year's G7 summit is underway in Bavaria, Germany.
Moscow criticized G7 leaders for mulling further sanctions against Russia, which the group of world leading developed economies has been pressing hard to fulfill its part in the peace-seeking deal on the Ukraine crisis reached in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in late February, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
"We have noticed that sanction issues have been raised concerning the implementation of the Minsk agreement by Russia. But we have repeatedly stressed the need to read the agreement and to understand who actually need to fulfill it," Peskov said.
The situation in the conflict-torn Ukraine has shown a sign of regression recently with exchange of gunfire flaring up in the restive Donbass region, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saw as a deliberate attempt of Kiev to put Moscow under pressure amid the ongoing G7 summit.
"There was probably a wish to greatly aggravate the situation, bearing in mind that G7 members have stated that sanctions against Russia will be in force until it fulfills the Minsk agreement," Lavrov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying after meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei in Moscow.
Meanwhile, the top Russian diplomat vowed to drive the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics to meet their obligations to "constructively and completely fulfill" the new Minsk agreement, and urged the West to do the same with Kiev.
"We call on our Western colleagues not to allow the recurrence of military solutions to the crisis," Lavrov said.
The United States and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia due to its takeover of Crimea and alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, which has brought Moscow's ties with the West to the lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
Russia, which denied the allegations, has introduced in response a series of anti-sanction measures in the face of the outside pressure, insisting that the West should take the first step toward the improvement of relations.
KIEV, June 8 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 Ukrainian government troops and at least 50 civilians have been killed since the beginning of a truce regime in Ukraine's eastern regions in mid-February, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said here Monday.
"Since the establishment of the ceasefire regime on Feb. 12, the insurgents violated it more than 4,000 times, of which 120 attacks were targeting residential areas," Poltorak told a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-Parliamentary Council.Full Story
KIEV, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday that Kiev is ready to hold a nationwide referendum on the future status of the country's conflict-torn eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, known locally as Donbas.
"I am ready to ensure the free expression of the will of citizens to give the opportunity for all Ukrainians to express their view on the future of Donbas," Poroshenko told reporters during a press conference.Full Story