MOSCOW, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a telephone conversation Saturday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the U.S. to cast influence on Ukraine and help halt the violence there.
"The foreign minister stressed the need to immediately stop the punitive operation in the southeast...Military actions, artillery and air strikes on settlements lead to numerous losses of lives and border violations," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"U.S. Secretary of State pledged to pay personal attention to these issues," according to the ministry.
The secretary of state expressed on the phone "strong concern" about the shootdown of a Ukrainian military transport plane by insurgents in Lugansk and the flow of weapons and militants across the Russian-Ukraine border, contending that Russia has sent tanks and rocket launchers to the militias in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier in the day that the allegations on Russia's intervention in Ukraine were unacceptable, especially on Russia sending military units and weapons to the war- torn country.
A military transport plane was shot down by anti-government militants in the eastern city of Lugansk early Saturday, killing 49 Ukrainian troops.
KIEV, June 14 (Xinhua) -- At least 49 Ukrainian troops were killed after a military transport plane was shot down by anti-government militants in the eastern city of Lugansk early Saturday.
The Il-76 aircraft carrying "military personnel, machinery, equipment and supplies" was approaching the airport in Luhansk when it came under attack by "anti-aircraft and heavy machine guns," the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a statement. Full story
WASHINGTON, June 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. State Secretary John Kerry on Saturday called on Russia to end the flow of weapons and support to separatists in Ukraine.
In a phone talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry expressed strong concern about events over the last few days in Ukraine, including the transport of heavy weaponry and militants across the border and the shooting down of a Ukrainian transport flight overnight, the State Department said. Full story
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday pointed to the necessity to quickly reach a cease-fire in Ukraine, a pillar stone in the diplomatic process to de-escalate violence in Kiev.
During phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two European leaders "expressed their deep concern over the continuing fighting in east of Ukraine." Full story
LONDON, June 14 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Saturday condemned attack on a Ukrainian military transport plane, urging Russia to take further measures to prevent the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.
"I condemn the attack on a Ukrainian military transport plane over the city of Luhansk which has reportedly resulted in the loss of life of a large number of Ukrainian military personnel," Hague said. Full story