January 25, 2015 / 1:43 PM / in 3 years

Russia's Lavrov says Moscow ready to push for peaceful solution in east Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday that Moscow was ready to do everything it can to encourage rival sides warring in east Ukraine to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said the two held a phone call on Sunday in which Kerry proposed to widen the group of international players trying to help peace talks between Kiev and rebels in east Ukraine’s regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

“Lavrov highlighted Russia’s readiness to do everything in its power to encourage parties towards a peaceful solution,” the statement said.

It added that “any real results can only be achieved through direct dialogue between Donetsk and Luhansk, which Kiev is avoiding by all means, clearly having set a course for military suppression of south-east Ukraine.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Catherine Evans

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