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Russian FM: direct talks needed to de-escalate Ukraine crisis

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Russian FM: direct talks needed to de-escalate Ukraine crisis

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said progress in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis is possible only if both sides hold direct talks. He said there were no new international talks planned for now.

Lavrov was speaking at a joint news conference with Uganda’s foreign minister.

“We respect the will of the people of Donetsk and Luhansk and we are counting on practical implementation of the outcome in a civilized manner, without any repeat of violence, through dialogue between representatives of Kyiv, Donetsk and Luhansk,” said Lavrov.

Some “yes” voters saw Sunday’s referendum as a move toward an eventual union with Russia.

Moscow denies any ambition to absorb Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking east into the Russian Federation.