Kerry presses Lavrov for ceasefire deal in Ukraine

imgU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday that Moscow and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine must implement a ceasefire or face consequences that could hit Russia’s economy.
Kerry told a news conference in Geneva that the ceasefire must be respected in all areas, including the town of Debaltseve and outside the city of Mariupol.
“If that does not happen, if there continue to be these broad swathes of non-compliance … then there would be inevitably further consequences that would place further strain on Russia’s already troubled economy,” he said.
“There’s been a kind of cherry-picking, a piecemeal selectivity to the application of the Minsk (ceasefire) agreements. And as we all know, shooting, shelling has still been going on, and people have still been killed over the course of these last days, so there is not yet a full ceasefire.”

Kerry said he hoped that OSCE monitoring and the ceasefire deal could be implemented “in the next hours, certainly not days”, and he had raised the issue with Lavrov at a meeting that lasted around an hour and 20 minutes.

“He assured me that they are intent on seeing to it that the agreements are in fact implemented. He said he would get back to me with respect to a number of the issues that I raised.
“Our hope is that this will prove to be a road to further de-escalation rather than a road to disappointment, potential deception and further violence,” he said.

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