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03:22

Russia: Zelenskiy’s refusal to build dialogue with Donbass 'disappointing' - Lavrov

Russian Federation, Moscow
June 19, 2019 at 11:22 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis held a joint press conference following bilateral talks in Moscow on Wednesday.

Lavrov said it's "disappointing" to hear that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's is not ready for direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).

"We certainly want to understand what exactly was discussed and what was agreed in Berlin and Paris," Lavrov said of Zelenskiy's talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We expect that our French and German colleagues as partners in the Normandy format will tell us how they conducted the line on the need for full implementation of the Minsk agreements," added Lavrov.

His Swiss counterpart called the situation in Ukraine "toxic."

"I highlighted a fundamental question that is being asked in Europe: what is more important — military force or international law? Obviously, from an abstract point of view the question is simple to answer: international law must prevail," said the Swiss diplomat.

Cassis is currently on a two-day visit to Moscow. On Tuesday he opened Switzerland’s new embassy complex in a ceremony also attended by his Russian counterpart Lavrov.

03:22
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis held a joint press conference following bilateral talks in Moscow on Wednesday.

Lavrov said it's "disappointing" to hear that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's is not ready for direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).

"We certainly want to understand what exactly was discussed and what was agreed in Berlin and Paris," Lavrov said of Zelenskiy's talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We expect that our French and German colleagues as partners in the Normandy format will tell us how they conducted the line on the need for full implementation of the Minsk agreements," added Lavrov.

His Swiss counterpart called the situation in Ukraine "toxic."

"I highlighted a fundamental question that is being asked in Europe: what is more important — military force or international law? Obviously, from an abstract point of view the question is simple to answer: international law must prevail," said the Swiss diplomat.

Cassis is currently on a two-day visit to Moscow. On Tuesday he opened Switzerland’s new embassy complex in a ceremony also attended by his Russian counterpart Lavrov.

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