Ukraine has key to better Russia-EU relations - Lavrov ― RT News

Relations between Russia and the EU depend on the implementation of Minsk documents, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. By "blocking" the agreements, Kiev prevents the "normalization" of the relations, he said.

"The Minsk agreements are being blocked by Ukraine. Thus, Ukraine now holds the key to normalization of relations between Russia and the European Union," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the head of Rossiya Segodnya news agency, Dmitry Kiselyov.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s attempts to have foreign troops deployed in eastern Ukraine as a peacekeeping mission might be a "tactical loophole," Russia's top diplomat said.

Sometimes, when one side needs to buy time, a new idea is being thrown in only to distract the attention from the main issue and shift the progress, Lavrov explained, adding that he hoped the idea of European peacekeepers in Ukraine is not yet another example of such trick.

"There is a progress on keeping the ceasefire," Lavrov said, adding that still there are areas where the agreements have not been fully implemented. The area of the Donetsk Airport is being shelled by Kiev forces, the minister said, citing OSCE reports.

The so-called Normandy Four will monitor the implementation of the Minsk documents, according to Lavrov, who said that the group's ministers - including Russian, German, French and Ukrainian representatives, have agreed to meet for discussions on the progress.

At the same time, US is trying to restrain other countries' relations with Moscow, Lavrov said, adding that such "demarches" make him question the decisions made by some US politicians.

"All partners who I meet when paying visits, and my colleagues who come with visits [to Russia] have come under pressure either from a US ambassador or some lower rank emissary from Washington who have traveled to the region with a warning," Lavrov said in the interview with Rossiya Segodnya.

"It is obvious to me that Washington does not want to see the success of the Minsk agreements and overcoming of the crisis in Russian-European relations, although [US Secretary of State] John Kerry constantly reassures me of the contrary," he said.