Special Representative of the US Department of State for Ukraine Kurt Volker on the air of the Russian television channel Dozhd said that under the Minsk agreements, Russia must withdraw its troops from the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“Russia recognizes that, according to the Minsk agreements, these territories should be returned to Ukraine, they must again become part of Ukraine and stop being occupied. For this to happen, it is necessary to withdraw Russian troops from there and to provide people with security, to make them feel secure," the American diplomat said.
Volker also stated that the negotiations in Minsk do not solve the existing problems:
“At the moment, the Minsk process does not solve this problem. Of course, it is necessary and very important. In the end, we can take advantage of this. But now we need to improve the level of security and provide Ukraine with the conditions to enable the protection of its territory.”
According to Volker, most violations of the ceasefire in the Donbas are caused by the actions of the Russian military.
“It should be clearly understood that Russian troops are present in the Donbas, in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. As well as the military equipment and armament. According to official OSCE reports, most violations of the ceasefire are from the Russian side, the special representative said.
Finally, Volker made a point that Washington has a clear understanding of the status of the occupied theories of the Donbas and the Crimea.
“For the US government, there is no difference between the Donbas and the Crimea. In both cases it is illegal aggression, occupation. In the case of the Crimea, Russia announced an annexation, which we did not recognize and will never recognize. These are equally horrible situations," Volker said.
Earlier, the US Department of State's Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, together with US Defense Secretary James Mattis, at meetings with high-ranking representatives of the Ukrainian government discussed further steps in diplomatic negotiations to restore Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.