British Foreign Secretary suggests armistice among armed groups in Ukraine in call to Russia's Sergey Lavrov
LONDON - British Foreign Secretary William Hague has telephoned Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov about recent developments in Ukraine and asked him to immediately apply the Geneva Accord.
Hague on Wednesday also issued a call for an evacuation of many buildings and an armistice among illegal armed groups, in order to de-escalate tensions in the eastern and southern part of Ukraine.
The British Foreign Secretary also called on Russian diplomats to participate in the monitoring-mission efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
After the call, Hague expressed his appreciation of the efforts of the Ukrainian government to apply the Geneva Accord, saying: "I appreciate the Ukrainian government for their moderate behavior and for not being provoked".
He added the "brave" steps showed Ukraine's loyalty to the accord, and said the United Kingdom would continue to support and encourage it.
Russia should adhere to the accord, he said.
- Legitimate interests
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said: "Russian Armed Forces will respond to any kind of threat against Russian citizens."
According to the Russian news agency Ria-Novosti, Lavrov said: "If we receive an attack, there's no doubt that we will respond."
"Moscow will not have another choice apart from responding within the scope of international law, if Russian citizens' legitimate interests were attacked, just like in South Ossetia."
He added that if any attack was made against Russian citizens, it would be an attack against the Russian state.
Lavrov stated that the US should act more responsibly within the scope of the Geneva Accords on the Ukrainian issue, and he hoped it would consider Ukraine's future instead of its geopolitical and unilateral interests.
In apparent reference to the agreement on Geneva, he said the Americans were always demanding new requests in defiance of the accords and if they considered Ukraine's interests, rather than those of the person who was going to rule the country, reconciliation with the Ukrainian nation would not be difficult.
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