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Russia "ready to help" to resolve Ukraine crisis: Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov maintained on Monday (Aug 25) that Russia is looking for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to Russian and foreign media on Monday (Aug 25), and maintained that Russia is looking for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently preparing for meetings with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and other regional leaders in talks which will begin on Tuesday in Minsk. This comes as the Ukrainian military announced that it is fighting rebel armoured vehicles which allegedly crossed the border from Russia into Ukrainian territory.

In Monday’s briefing, Lavrov confirmed that Russia will do anything it can to help solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. "We are ready to work in any format; we are ready to help Ukrainians agree among themselves, to help them to agree on the parameters they need in order for them to live in one state, respecting all minorities," he said.

In accordance with this desire to solve the ongoing crisis, Lavrov announced that Russia has informed Ukraine's foreign ministry that it is planning to send a second humanitarian convoy into Eastern Ukraine.

The first convoy, which crossed into Ukraine on Friday without Kiev's agreement, was lambasted by Kiev as "an invasion" and Western leaders expressed outrage at the convoy's border crossing without Kiev's agreement or Red Cross supervision.

But Lavrov said that the humanitarian crisis in Donetsk and Luhansk regions is too dire to ignore. He even suggested in that the continued shelling of civilian areas as Kiev continues military operations in the east could not all be by accident.

Lavrov said that hopes that EU representatives in Minsk won't just come with expectations for Russia to "magically solve everything" but will rather urge Ukraine, as the party that Lavrov responsible for what happens within its own territory, to take action to create a state which is safe for everyone.

Lavrov stated his hope that Europe would start to become more likeminded with Russia on the Ukrainian issue."The West will come to the realisation that supporting the civil war is a dead end, just like the Ukrainian leadership thinking it will win over part of its own people using the army," he said.

Although he would not give details, Lavrov said that one-on-one meetings are being planned for in Minsk, as the fighting in Eastern Ukraine continues.  

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