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Russia 'Alarmed' By Kyiv's Refusal To Negotiate With Rebels

Russia says Ukraine's failure to agree with separatists on implementing a peace deal is "alarming."

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on July 3 that the Kyiv authorities have “routinely demonstrated their inability to come to an agreement."

Lavrov said proposed changes to Ukraine's constitution did not honor a "single requirement" of the peace deal signed in Minsk in February.

He urged the West to pressure Ukrainian authorities to honor the peace deal, saying they were "torpedoing" the agreement and refusing to directly negotiate with rebels.

Separatists in eastern Ukraine have complained they had not been consulted over Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's proposed constitutional changes, and announced plans to hold local elections in October, sparking criticism in Kyiv.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said on July 3 that the rebels' proposal "satisfies neither the spirit nor the letter of Minsk."

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax