WASHINGTON, May 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Russia to reach out to President-elect Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and work toward easing the tension in the eastern part of the country, the State Department said on Thursday.
In his phone talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, the top American envoy called on Russia to begin working with Poroshenko to "de-escalate the conflict," department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters at a daily press briefing.
She said Kerry also raised concerns about reports of foreign fighters crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine, particularly those from Russia's republic of Chechnya.
"He pressed Foreign Minister Lavrov to end all support for separatists, denounce their actions, and call on them to lay down their arms," Psaki said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia would respect the results of Ukraine's presidential election on May 25 and work with its new authorities.
During his phone conversation with Lavrov, Kerry also voiced concern about the delay in removing the remaining 8 percent of declared chemical weapons materials from Syria and the recent detainment of chemical weapons inspectors in the Arab nation, Psaki said.