US Secretary of State discusses reform efforts and situation in Donbas with Ukraine's leaders
The sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and western countries will remain in place if Moscow fails to resolve the situation in the Donbas and Crimea, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated at a joint presser with Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv.
""So, make no mistake, if Russia chooses the path of de-escalation and full implementation of Minsk, the international community, all of us, will welcome it. And we pledge to work very closely with President Poroshenko to make sure that his government and Ukraine is doing all in its power to live up to its responsibilities," Kerry said.
The State Secretary also addressed Crimea issue:
"From the very beginning of the conflict, when Russia invaded Crimea, the US has been saying that we do not recognize and will not recognize the Russian annexation attempt," he reitarated.
According to Kerry, "US sanctions, imposed because of the Crimea issues will remain in force until eventually this problem is solved."
US officials say Kyiv has completed most of its obligations under the Minsk accords but complain that Russia and its proxies have not done their part.
Under the peace agreement, Ukraine has pledged to hold local elections in eastern regions and pass a law granting them greater autonomy. But Kyiv says it cannot implement these points until all fighting subsides and it has full control of eastern borders with Russia.