On January 25, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, on the initiative of the EU.
The officials discussed in detail the escalation of the situation in Ukraine. Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed that Russia views the developments to be a result of Kiev's policy of avoiding direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk to implement the Minsk agreements, and its policy of suppression of Ukraine's southeastern regions by force. He stressed that if the Ukrainian leadership had accepted President Putin's January 15 suggestion to urgentlywithdraw heavy weaponry from the line marked in the September 19, 2014 Minsk Memorandum, the tragedies of Volnovakha, Donetsk and Mariupol could have been avoided. However, Kiev has decided to further its militarisation, announcing new waves of mobilisation and issuing an order to step up combat.
The Minister expressed his hope that the EU would not tolerate this policy, which is destructive for Ukraine, and that it will persuade the Ukrainian side to agree to give a real start to political settlement.
Sergey Lavrov also highlighted the need for an impartial and objective investigation, with the involvement of the OSCE and interested parties, into the recent shelling of Donetsk, Mariupol and other residential areas in Ukraine’s southeast.