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    Attempts to pressure Russia are futile – Lavrov to Kerry

    December 16, 2014

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry as the two officials met in Rome that it is useless for Washington to try to pressure Moscow on the world arena; instead, it should take into account the other side’s interests.

    “When discussing bilateral relations Lavrov stressed that their development is possible only on the basis of equality and mutual interests, while any attempts to pressure Russia have no prospect,” the Russian Foreign Ministry posted in a statement on Facebook.

     

    The top diplomats discussed the situation in southeastern Ukraine, and Lavrov stressed the importance of adhering to the Minsk agreements.

     

    "In the context of the situation in southeastern Ukraine, the consistent implementation of the Minsk agreements is paramount, as well as the convening of a contact group for this purpose as early as possible,” Lavrov said.

     

    Kerry and Lavrov met on Sunday at the residence of the American ambassador in Rome, marking their 17th meeting this year.

     

    The meeting took place after US lawmakers passed a new bill – referred to as the 'Ukraine Freedom Support Act' – which asks for additional sanctions against Russia, as well as support for Ukraine in the form of up to $350 million worth of US military hardware.

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