The Minister of foreign Affairs of France Jean-Marc Ayrault

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and Minister of foreign Affairs and international development of France Jean-Marc Ayrault agreed to cooperate in the preparation of inter-Syrian negotiations. This was at the end of the phone conversation diplomats said the Department of information and press of the Russian foreign Ministry.

“The Ministers agreed on cooperation between representatives of Russia and France in the framework of preparation and holding of the next round of inter-Syrian negotiations that will start in Geneva on 23 March 2017”, – stated in the message.

During the conversation, Lavrov said that the absence of armed opposition groups in the last meeting is indicative of ongoing attempts by some countries to prevent the peaceful settlement in Syria . However, the Russian foreign Minister expressed his satisfaction with the progress in Astana.

As reported earlier, the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, in the third international meeting on Syria in Astana was attended by delegations of the three countries – guarantors of the cessation of hostilities (Russia, Turkey and Iran), as well as Jordan, USA, UN and government of Syria. According to her, the delegation of the Syrian armed opposition has refused to participate in negotiations and “has engaged in speculation around their arrival in Astana”.

Blockade Of Donbass

In the course of telephone conversations Ayrault also confirmed that Paris opposed the blockade of Donbass.

“Lavrov reiterated that a durable ceasefire can not be achieved without “supporting” his political steps. The Ukrainian authorities must put an end to the attempts of a total blockade to force the region to surrender and to finally embark on the implementation of the Minsk package of measures in its entirety”, – stated in the message of the foreign Ministry.

The Russian foreign Ministry believe that the sharp aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, triggered by the commitment of Kiev force to resolve “the problems of Donbass”.

Kiev 15 March-the decision of the Council of national security and defense Council (NSDC) has suspended all transport links beyond the control of the government of Ukraine the territory of Donbass. According to the NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, the ban will be effective until the implementation of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of weapons of a complex of measures to implement the Minsk agreements, and to return under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian companies, which was placed into administration.