Kerry again demands Russia stop supporting separatists in southeastern Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, has demanded that Russia stop supporting separatists in southeastern Ukraine, the U.S. Department of State reported on Wednesday.
In a statement released by the Department of State, Kerry "expressed strong concern about the refusal of Russian-supported separatists to take the necessary steps" to enable the extension of a shaky ten-day ceasefire.
At the same time, he reiterated Washington's support for Kyiv and "stressed the importance of taking steps to de-escalate."
Kerry "also made clear that we and our European and international partners will continue to press Russia to end all support and weapons flowing to separatists."
He said that Washington wanted Moscow to "call on separatists to lay down their arms, to return the border checkpoints they hold to Ukrainian government control, and to release all remaining hostages."