Russia says Kiev must take first step to solve Ukraine crisis

by Reuters
Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:13 GMT

MOSCOW, April 24 (Reuters) - The Ukrainian authorities must take the first step if a resolution is to be found to the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Lavrov, speaking at a news conference after meeting his Lebanese counterpart, also said the United States should use its influence to persuade Kiev to implement its commitments under an international accord on Ukraine that was signed last week.

"We have no doubts whatsoever that the first steps must be taken by the Kiev authorities. That is absolutely unarguable, and to try to get away from that, to try, as our Western partners are doing, to present things as if Kiev is ruled by angels who make no mistakes, that's just wrong," Lavrov said.

"I am convinced that our American colleagues can and should use all their influence to force the current Kiev authorities to acknowledge ... their responsibility for what is happening. We are in favour of immediate steps to de-escalate the situation." (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Christian Lowe, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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