U.S. should convince Kiev to immediately stop military operation in southeastern Ukraine - Foreign Ministry

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on the United States to use its influence with Kiev to convince it to stop the military operation in southeastern Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on the United States to use its influence with Kiev to convince it to stop the military operation in southeastern Ukraine.

"The unpredictable nature of the situation in the southeastern regions of Ukraine, where regular military units, special operations forces and ultra-nationalistic paramilitary formations have been sent against the population, calls for urgent measures to convince the U.S.-backed Kiev authorities to show restraint and stop using force," the ministry said in a statement.

Telephone conversations, set for April 23 and 24, between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry did not take place for reasons beyond Moscow's control, it said.

"In the run-up to a planned telephone conversation of the two countries' foreign ministers on April 25, the Russian side once again insistently urges Washington to use its influence with the interim government in Kiev and try to talk sense into it and persuade it from rash steps that would plunge Ukraine even deeper into the depths of crisis," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We hope that the U.S. will eventually take urgent measures intended to de-escalate the situation in accordance with the principles of the April 17 Geneva statement. Washington should persuade the current Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop the military operation in the southeast and pull back units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and its security structures. We hope that Washington realizes the whole extent of its responsibility for the current events," it said.

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