Russian, French FMs discuss Ukraine, security guarantees over phone

MOSCOW, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian held a phone conversation on Saturday to discuss Moscow-proposed security guarantees and the Ukrainian crisis.

A bus in the Rostov-on-Don region, Russia, February 19, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

Lavrov emphasized the need to ensure equal and indivisible security for all based on a balance of interests, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

He warned that ignoring the legitimate rights of Russia in the security area hurts the stability not only on the European continent but also in the world as a whole.

Lavrov attributed the lack of progress in resolving the intra-Ukrainian conflict to the "stubborn unwillingness of the Kiev authorities to fully comply with the Minsk agreements."

He also accused Kiev of building up military forces on the line of contact in Donbass and carrying out armed provocations.

The Minsk agreements, reached in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, outline the steps needed to end the conflict between the Ukrainian government troops and local armed groups in Donbass. The documents envisage a ceasefire, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange and local elections, among other measures.