Kiev, Feb 5 (IANS) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday discussed the crisis in Ukraine, stressing the need for a diplomatic solution to the ongoing conflict in the eastern regions.
Speaking at a joint press briefing following their talks, Poroshenko pledged continued efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the confrontation in the east of his country.
“We are working to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict and an end to the aggression. This is a priority for the entire civilised world, for every civilised community,” Xinhua news agency quoted Poroshenko as saying.
Ukraine was closely cooperating with the US to find effective instruments which would help deescalate the ongoing tensions in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, he added.
On his part, Kerry said that the US was ready to further work with Ukraine to seek a peaceful solution to the tension.
“We want a diplomatic resolution,” he emphasised, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the combat area and negotiations between the conflicting parties.
“Possibly, this conflict will be stopped, but only if a ceasefire is established, weapons are withdrawn and the sides sit down at the negotiating table,” Kerry said.
Kerry has also called on the warring sides in the conflict to release prisoners of war and urged Kiev authorities to respect a “special status” law, intended to grant more autonomy to eastern regions.
Although Kerry has once again accused Russia of stirring unrest in eastern Ukraine, he emphasised that Washington was not seeking confrontation with Moscow.
“We are not seeking conflict with Russia, no one is — not President Poroshenko, not the United States, not the European community,” Kerry stressed.
Kiev and some Western countries have long accused Russia of direct involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, which Moscow has denied flatly.