United States urges Russian Federation to reverse its actions in Ukraine

Posted July 10, 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the US and European Union sanction against Russian Federation will not be lifted until the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is settled.

"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's short visit to Kiev comes as the US explores taking a greater role in a European-led effort to end the three-year conflict in Ukraine's east that has claimed around 10,000 lives.

Poroshenko welcomed Volker's appointment, calling it "important and timely move in the interests of ending Russian aggression and restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, including Crimea". He thanked Tillerson for the continued US commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and expressed deep appreciation for his "symbolic and timely visit immediately after the meetings at the G-20 in Hamburg" where Trump met with Putin.

A primary goal of the United States "is to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty", he said.

The continuing war in the industrial Donbas region has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced about 1.7 million, and dealt a heavy blow to Ukraine as it tries to break with Russian Federation and integrate with the European Union.

In that role, Volker will lead USA efforts to implement the 2015 Minsk agreement aimed at halting the fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region. Under the Obama administration, the USA had taken a hands-off approach to Minsk, allowing the Europeans to take the lead.

Photo Mr. Tillerson, left, assured Mr. Poroshenko during their meeting that the United States was setting a high bar for lifting sanctions on Russian Federation.

"Kiev did not plan, did not start this war", he added. "That's why the keys to peaceful settlement are in Moscow". The Ukrainian government contends that political reform depends on an end to the violence.

"Ukraine's come a long way, you know we want to acknowledge that, and we still have more to do". Washington calls it an "annexation" and says that the sanctions will not be lifted until the peninsula becomes part of Ukraine again.

Kiev and its European allies have been alarmed by Mr Trump's determination to improve relations with the Kremlin, despite its role in Ukraine and alleged meddling in last year's USA presidential election campaign.

When asked about the meeting on Sunday, Tillerson said, "In all candidness we did not expect an answer other than the one we received".