Russia outraged by deadly shootout in Slavyansk, insists on Kiev fulfilling Geneva agreement – Moscow

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Moscow is outraged by the armed incident that occurred Saturday night in Slavyansk in which innocent civilians died as a result of an attack by Right Sector militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry says. “The Russian side is enraged by the militant provocation which is an indication of the reluctance of the authorities in Kiev to bridle and disarm nationalists and extremists,” a ministry statement says.

Russia outraged by deadly shootout in Slavyansk, insists on Kiev fulfilling Geneva agreement - Moscow

“It is surprising that the tragedy occurred after the signing on April 17 in Geneva of the final statement of the four-sided meeting of representatives of Russia, the USA, EU and Ukraine which calls for refraining from any violent actions, intimidation or provocations. The Russian side insists on the strict fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of its commitments concerning the de-escalation the situation in southeast Ukraine,” the ministry says, Interfax reports.

“The Eastern ceasefire was violated in Slavyansk on April 20. As a result of an armed attack by the so-called Right Sector innocent civilians died. Local residents seized the vehicles of the attackers in which they discovered arms, aerial maps of the area and Right Sector paraphernalia,” the statement says.

Lavrov drew attention to the necessity for immediate and complete implementation by the Ukrainian authorities of the Geneva communique which assumes in particular non-violence and the launch of a nationwide dialogue on a new constitution involving major political factions and regions, the statement said.

Following the results of the talk the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Sergei Lavrov urged the Kiev authorities to implement the provisions of the agreement, RIA reports.

US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the Geneva communique on Ukraine in a telephone talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov early Saturday and stressed the coming days would pivotal for its implementation, the US State Department announced.

Kerry “made clear that the next few days would be a pivotal period for all sides to implement the statement’s provisions, particularly that all illegal armed groups must be disarmed and all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners,” the statement reads.

The two diplomats agreed to keep up cooperation to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine and continue discussions on possible international assistance to the crisis-torn country. The telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry was initiated by the American side, the announcement at the Russian Foreign Ministry page on Facebook says.

John Kerry also held phone talks with Ukrainian acting Prime Minister John Kerry and hailed Kiev’s important steps over the last 24 hours aimed at implementing the agreement.

The four-party meeting that took place Thursday in Geneva ended with an agreement on a series of immediate steps aimed at de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine including the disarmament of irregular militant groups and a dialogue on constitutional reforms.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the most important result of the meeting was that all sides agreed the crisis in Ukraine should be resolved by Ukrainians themselves.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has urged all Christians of the Russian Orthodox Church to pray hard for peace in Ukraine in these Easter days, Itar-Tass reports.

“Today, we should pray for the people of Russia and Ukraine in particular; let’s pray that peace be restored in the minds and hearts of our brothers and sisters in blood and faith and that the lost ties and cooperation which we all need so much also be restored,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said in his Easter message.

The patriarch said that the Russian Orthodox Church like all Christianity in general united people irrespective of national, cultural and state borders because the light of Christ’s teaching enlightened everybody.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church stressed the creative nature of Christ’s creed. “Let the joy of this holiday give us more strength and inspires us to new good deeds; let it give us courage and strength so that we stay calm and self-restrained amid the rough sea of our life,” Patriarch Kirill said, urging Orthodox Christians to share the joy and Easter mood with everybody who “needs our attention and support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin attended the Easter service at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

At the end of the Easter morning service, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill exchanged triple kisses with Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana, as well as Sergei Sobyanin and gave them decorative Easter eggs as gifts.

The Russian leaders also extended their Easter greetings to the patriarch and left the Christ the Saviour’s Cathedral.

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