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Russia's Lavrov announces deal to "de-escalate tensions" in Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday announced a deal had been reached with Ukraine, the United States and the European Union to "de-escalate" dangerously high tensions in the former Soviet republic. The agreement reached after marathon talks in Geneva include disbanding "illegal armed groups" in all regions of Ukraine, Lavrov told reporters. jwf-nr-mbx/jwf/hmn

Russia's Lavrov last to arrive for crunch Ukraine talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was the last to arrive at a Geneva hotel Thursday where he is due to hold high-stake talks on the Ukraine crisis with counterparts from Kiev, Washington and Brussels. He will sit down at the negotiating table with Ukraine's interim Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton -- the latter two having already held bilateral talks.

Russia's Lavrov says Kiev dialogue with east 'step in the right direction'

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said he welcome signs the government in Kiev was ready for dialogue with separatists in eastern Ukraine, calling it "a step in the right direction", the Interfax news agency reported. Speaking during a visit to Beijing, Lavrov said Kiev's apparent willingness to "resolve through negotiations all the problems relating to the legal demands of the inhabitants of the south-east regions of Ukraine, is certainly a step in the right direction, albeit very belated."

Russia wants explanation of report CIA chief visited Kiev

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said Moscow would like Washington to explain reports in the Russian media that CIA director John Brennan visited the Ukrainian capital at the weekend. "We would like to understand the meaning of reports about an urgent visit of CIA director Mr Brennan to Kiev," Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. "So far we have not been given any explanations that would be reasonable." am-as/yad

Russia's Lavrov says NATO forces in Eastern Europe would violate agreements

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday said the deployment of NATO forces in eastern European countries close to Russia would violate of agreements between Moscow and the alliance, the Interfax news agency reported. Lavrov said even the fact that NATO was discussing deploying troops or installations on territories "closely adjacent" to Russia ran counter to the Founding Act agreed by Russia and the military alliance in 1997, Interfax reported. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Steve Gutterman)

Russia's Lavrov, EU's Ashton discuss Ukraine crisis

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday discussed possible international efforts to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis, the Russian ministry said in a statement. In a telephone conversation initiated by Ashton, Lavrov reaffirmed Russia's proposal for "an authentic Ukraine-wide dialogue involving all political forces and regions" aimed at reaching agreement on constitutional reforms, it said.

Russia's Lavrov dismisses U.S. criticism over Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday dismissed U.S. accusations that Moscow was destabilizing Ukraine and said the situation could improve only if the interests of Russian speakers are taken into account. Speaking at a joint news conference in Moscow with Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti, Lavrov reiterated Moscow's call for constitutional reforms in Ukraine to guarantee the rights of Russian speakers there. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Russia warns use of force could tip Ukraine into civil war

Russia on Tuesday warned Kiev that any use of force in Ukraine's east, where pro-Kremlin militants have seized government buildings in several cities, could tip the country into civil war. "We call for the immediate cessation of any military preparations, which are fraught with the risk of unleashing civil war," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. The warning came after pro-Russia activists seized state buildings in the eastern cities of Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk, where they also declared independence and vowed to vote on joining Russia.

Lavrov says no US-Russia deal, 'constructive' talks to continue

The United States and Russia failed Sunday to reach a deal on Ukraine but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said talks here with US Secretary of State John Kerry had been "constructive" and would continue. After four hours of discussions, Lavrov said the two parties had presented their plans for a de-escalation of the crisis but did not agree on what had caused it. He reiterated Russia's belief that federalism in Ukraine would be key to finding a solution. kat/am/pvh

Russia's Lavrov says Moscow, Washington to work with Ukraine

PARIS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that Moscow and Washington had agreed to work with the Ukrainian government and the country's people to overcome the crisis, after meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian agencies reported. "We have agreed to work with the Ukrainian government and people to achieve progress in rights of minorities and linguistic rights," Lavrov told reporters after talks that lasted four hours, Interfax reported.
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