Russian foreign ministry tells West to halt 'destructive' Ukraine policy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry called on Friday on Western powers to give up their "destructive" policy on Ukraine and urged Kiev to stop its "punitive operation" in the south-east of the country.

"This will allow a real process of de-escalation to begin," the ministry said in a statement.

It added that the West was effectively preventing a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis by backing the Kiev authorities.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Alexander Winning, editing by Nigel Stephenson)