Not everyone in Kiev interested in soonest settlement of Ukraine crisis - Lavrov

The United States and certain groups in the Ukrainian leadership are not interested in the soonest possible settlement of the situation in Ukraine, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Speaking in an interview shown in a Saturday analytical TV program hosted by Sergei Brilyov and asked whether the chances for peace in Ukraine have grown or decreased over the past week, Lavrov replied: "If this depended on us and most of our European partners, the answer would be that the chances have grown."

"There are also players representing the Ukrainian side, and it is far from being homogenous, and I think President Poroshenko would like to reduce the heat of the tension and extend the truce, but there are also other forces in the Ukrainian leadership," Lavrov said.

"There are radicals who are still in control of or are interacting very closely with the armed ultra-nationalists. These include Right Sector, [Dnipropetrovsk regional administration head Ihor] Kolomoisky's battalions, and other very serious groups who do not report to the central command and the Ukrainian supreme commander-in-chief," he said.

"And certainly there are partners overseas, our American colleagues, who, judging by numerous indications, prefer to be prompting the Ukrainian leadership to take the confrontational path," he said.

Asked whether the armed opposition in southeastern Ukraine takes into account Moscow's opinion, Lavrov replied positively.

"This can be confirmed, inter alia, by the fact that members of an OSCE mission held in the southeast have ultimately been released. This was done in response to Patriarch Kirill's and the Russian leadership's call made following our recent meetings with the president of Switzerland, who is currently the OSCE chairperson-in-office," he said.

"There are reasons to presume that other aspects of our position toward the crisis in Ukraine have been heard as well, but this doesn't mean that all of our calls are immediately followed. The people there have their own vision," he said.

Lavrov said also that Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Choice movement, is taking part in consultations between the Kiev authorities, representatives of southeastern Ukrainian opposing them, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and an OSCE representative at President Poroshenko's invitation.

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