Moscow calls on Paris to restrain Kiev

Russia is calling on France to stop the Kiev authorities from using force against demonstrators in the Ukrainian town of Slavyansk and claims that whether a four-party meeting will be held depends entirely on the decisions made in Kiev under Washington's protection.

Russia is calling on France to stop the Kiev authorities from using force against demonstrators in the Ukrainian town of Slavyansk and claims that whether a four-party meeting will be held depends entirely on the decisions made in Kiev under Washington's protection.

"Russia is ready for international cooperation to settle the situation in Ukraine, including in the framework of a possible four-party meeting in Geneva. However, whether it will be held depends directly on the decisions currently being made by Kiev, primarily under Washington's protection," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Monday.

Earlier today Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by telephone to his French counterpart Laurent Fabius at the latter's request.

"The Russian side emphasized the need to urgently put an end to Kiev's provocative escalation by police of the already heated situation in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. Lavrov decisively dismissed the well-known attempts by the U.S. and a number of European nations to blame Russia for the events happening there, and called on Paris, as one of the guarantors under the February 21 agreement, to keep the Kiev authorities from using force and the army against protestors in Slavyansk and other Ukrainian towns," the statement said.

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