Moscow to promote contact between rebels and Kiev 'within days'
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow is working to promote contacts between Kiev and the pro-Russian separatists in the next few days.
"Certain contacts are planned within days as far as I know. We are trying as far as we have the powers and opportunities to facilitate these contacts," Lavrov told at a televised news conference in Moscow.
Russia is "convinced that the peace process must be revived and for that we are making the necessary efforts, primarily in order to finally start full, stable and direct dialogue between Kiev and the rebels," he said.
At the same time, Lavrov used fiery rhetoric to condemn Ukraine, accusing it of attempting to derail the peace process with military action in the eastern separatist region.
"We see attempts to derail the peace process. We see again and again attempts made by the Kiev authorities to solve the problem through crushing the south-east by force."
"These attempts have no future and most importantly lead to more and more victims among civilians."
Russia's top diplomat said Moscow was counting on Western countries, specifically Germany, France and the United States "not doing anything that gives the Kiev authorities the impression that all their actions automatically get Western support."
At the same time he accused Western countries of a "chronic" habit of blaming all violent attacks on the separatist rebels.
He said there was a group of Western countries that "want blood and want more and more sanctions" against Russia, while "we are sure there is another opinion in the Western camp.
"We anticipate that reason and objective, legal national interests will prevail," Lavrov added.
© 2015 AFP