USA urges Russian Federation to reverse its actions in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russian Federation on Sunday that it must take the first steps to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine and that American and European sanctions would remain in place until Moscow reversed course in the region. "This is necessary for us to make any movement".

While Trump called the meeting "tremendous" and has called for better ties with Moscow, his administration maintained US sanctions targeting Russian Federation over its 2014 seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and backing of armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

A few days ago, Mr. Tillerson announced he was appointing a new special envoy, Kurt Volker, an experienced diplomat, to help settle the dispute in Ukraine in part at the request of Mr. Putin. "Its venue is still undecided, but we are determined to hold a decisive, accelerated, practical, detailed dialogue both in the telephone format and at the summit this summer", Poroshenko said at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Kyiv on Sunday. Tillerson is in Ukraine to reaffirm American support as the country struggles with an insurgency in the east and attempts to crack down on corruption.

The rhetoric is remarkably different from three months ago, when while at a G7 meeting in Italy Tillerson questioned why U.S. taxpayers should be interested in Ukraine.

Sunday's meeting followed the appointment Friday of Kurt Volker as USA special envoy to Ukraine, a choice that suggests to Kiev the Trump administration intends to take a firm hand with Russian Federation in future negotiations.

In that role, Volker will lead US efforts to implement the 2015 Minsk agreement aimed at halting the fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region.

More news: U.S. secretary of state to find breakthrough in Qatar crisis

Volker served as the USA ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation under Obama from 2008-09.

"Kiev did not plan, did not start this war", he said.

Tillerson and other US officials for some time have been pushing Ukraine to press ahead with reforms that would curb corruption and improve governmental transparency.

The US imposed sanctions against Russian Federation, with the latest expansion in late June, after Russia's reunification with Crimea following a 2014 referendum.

Speaking to a group of reform advocates at the USA ambassador's residence, Tillerson praised Ukraine's progress in combating corruption but made clear that more must be accomplished. "We want to acknowledge that, (but) we still have more to do", he said.

"Ukraine has come a long way", he said.

Related Articles