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Johnson discusses aid convoy attack with Russian counterpart

Boris Johnson and International Development Secretary Priti Patel wait to hear Theresa May address the UN General Assembly. Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has met his Russian counterpart to discuss the "unacceptable" attack on an aid convoy in Syria.

Mr Johnson met Sergei Lavrov while the pair were in New York for the UN General Assembly.

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: "The ministers discussed the crisis in Syria and the increase in violence in recent days, including the recent unacceptable attack on an aid convoy.

"The Foreign Secretary pressed for Russia to use its influence constructively and underlined the need for the international community to work together to resolve the conflict.

"The Foreign Secretary was clear that while ongoing disagreements mean it is too early to normalise diplomatic relations, it is right that both countries continue to discuss important global issues."


Johnson: UK ready to help make Syrian ceasefire work

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has welcomed the Syrian ceasefire agreement and said the UK is ready to help make it work.

The former mayor of London made a telephone call to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in which the pair also agreed to meet on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Lavrov: Talks 'to take important decisions' on Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he expects the leaders of Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France to take "important decisions" when they to discuss the ongoing Ukraine crisis, Interfax news agency reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Credit: RTV

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are due to meet in Minsk on Wednesday.

Lavrov: 'Grounds for optimism' on Ukraine deal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there were reasons for optimism on a Ukraine peace deal but also blamed the US and Europe for inflaming the crisis.

"We believe that there are good grounds for optimism, to issue recommendations for conflict resolution," Lavrov said during a debate at the Munich security conference.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Credit: RTV

He also pointed to growing calls in the West to "pump Ukraine full of lethal weapons."

"This position will only exacerbate the tragedy of Ukraine," he added.


Ukraine ceasefire being observed 'in general'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is being observed "in general" but "there are incidents when the sides blame each other".

He told a news conference today that Moscow hopes talks will soon start on the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

However, he raised concerns over the "heavy concentration" of Ukrainian troops in parts of eastern Ukraine.

Russia accuses US of supporting the 'party of war'

Moscow has accused Washington of backing what it called the "party of war" in Kiev and said it was counting on a response from the leadership in Ukraine and rebels in its east to a Russian ceasefire plan.

The surge in anti-Russian rhetoric that we have seen exactly when there is a very active effort to seek a political solution shows that the party of war in Kiev has active external support, in this case from the United States

– Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Lavrov warning over Ukraine's Nato membership bid

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that Ukraine's bid to join Nato could "derail" the peace process in the east of the country.

Ukraine's government wants to join the defence alliance but some sections of its population, including its Russian-speaking minority, are opposed.

“This is an obvious attempt to derail all efforts to initiate a dialogue aimed at providing national security," Lavrov is quoted as saying by a Russian news agency.

Russia: EU should respect Ukraine referendum results

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the European Union should respect the results of the referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine over the weekend.

Mr Lavrov's comments follow an apparently overwhelming victory for pro-Russian separatists, with rebel leaders claiming over 85% of voters in both regions voted in favour of independence from Ukraine.

The leader of the rebels in Donetsk has now reportedly asked for his region to be incorporated into the Russian Federation, though the Kremlin has yet to respond to the request.

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