Russia tells U.S. that Kiev must stop operation in east Ukraine

MOSCOW, June 11 Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:21pm EDT

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MOSCOW, June 11 (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday that the Ukrainian government must stop its military operation and agree terms of a ceasefire with separatists, the Foreign Ministry said.

In a phone conversation with Kerry, Lavrov also emphasised "the importance of direct talks" between the government and pro-Russian rebels and the need to alleviate humanitarian problems in southeastern Ukraine, the ministry said.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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