Russia claims US `hindering` OSCE in Ukraine

Russia`s foreign minister has accused his US counterpart of hindering the OSCE`s work in Ukraine and urged him to stop, Moscow said, as fighting raged around the crash site of flight MH17.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 28, 2014, 06:18 AM IST

Moscow: Russia`s foreign minister has accused his US counterpart of hindering the OSCE`s work in Ukraine and urged him to stop, Moscow said, as fighting raged around the crash site of flight MH17.

Sergei Lavrov, in a telephone conversation, "asked John Kerry to order his subordinates to stop hindering the OSCE from doing its current work", Russia`s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe have been unable to access the site where a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed this month killing 298 people because of heavy shelling in the area.

Moscow on Friday accused the US of supporting Kiev and of "sharing the responsibility of spilt blood" in the restive east of Ukraine.

The US and Europe accuse Moscow of supporting the rebels, and claim a Russian-made missile was used to shoot down flight MH17 on July 17.
A senior State Department official in Washington said Kerry, during the phone call, had urged Russia to "begin to contribute to deescalating the conflict."

"Secretary Kerry urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to stop the flow of heavy weapons and rocket and artillery fire from Russia into Ukraine," said the official.

"He did not accept Foreign Minister Lavrov`s denial that heavy weapons from Russia were contributing to the conflict."

The two ministers agreed that a ceasefire in east Ukraine was needed and that negotiations should start under the terms of an agreement signed in April, the Russian ministry said.

According to the State Department official, Kerry underlined Washington`s "support for a mutual ceasefire verified by the OSCE and reaffirmed our strong support for the international investigation to show the facts of MH17."