REUTERS

"During a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Lavrov, the State Secretary Kerry called on Russia to use the contact group and the forthcoming trilateral meeting of its working sub-group as an opportunity to accelerate progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements," a State Department statement reads.

It said that the parties discussed the situation in Ukraine, Syria, Iran and Yemen and the activities of the Arctic Council during their conversation.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated earlier that Lavrov and Kerry stressed the importance of efforts to prevent violations of the ceasefire regime in Ukraine, and attacks of settlements.

According to the minister, Russia expects that together with its partners in the "Normandy Four" groups of nations (Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France) it will be possible to find a way out of the crisis in Ukraine.