Putin, Kerry discuss closer Russia-US cooperation on Ukraine crisis

Updated: 2015-05-13 09:31


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Putin, Kerry discuss closer Russia-US cooperation on Ukraine crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry shake hands before the meeting in Sochi on Tuesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

SOCHI, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday discussed closer Russia-US cooperation on the Ukraine crisis, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

Putin and Kerry also discussed different aspects and possible options for more intensive joint bilateral work in order to solve the crisis, according to Ushakov. He said Russia called for the soonest start of direct dialogues between Kiev government and insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

Putin stressed that Moscow is committed to fully implementing the Minsk agreements signed in February, while Kerry agreed that the Minsk accords pave the way of a peaceful settlement of the crisis.

Kerry arrived here Tuesday morning and first talked with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before Putin joined them.

At a press conference held after the high-level talks, Lavrov said both sides agreed to influence conflicting parties to the Ukraine crisis to ensure a practical and peaceful resolution.

Lamenting that the conflict in eastern Ukraine "continued for too long", Kerry urged all relevant parties to follow the provisions in the Minsk accords and make ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal and political dialogue a "genuine" reality.

Both the diplomats warned against any attempts to resume military operations in eastern Ukraine and agreed to do their best to speed up the peaceful process in Ukraine.

Kerry voiced concern that the Minsk agreements would be seriously undermined if Kiev takes such military actions as to regain control of the Donetsk airport.

Local media reported that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Monday "no doubt" for Kiev to regain control of the airport currently controlled by pro-independent insurgents.

"We were certainly unanimous on the need to resolve this problem exclusively in a peaceful way, through the full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements, definitely including a direct dialogue between Kiev, Lugansk, and Donetsk on all aspects specified in the Minsk accords," Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying.

The Russian foreign minister also disclosed that a meeting would be held this week of the working subgroup on security, which is established under the framework of the three-party Contact Group grouping Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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