March 24, 2018

Ukraine peacekeepers are top U.S. priority: Tillerson

08 December 2017, 07:53 | Taylor George

Tillerson Says No Normalization of NATO Relations With Russia

Tillerson Says No Normalization of NATO Relations With Russia

"We should be clear about the source of this violence", Tillerson said.

But Western powers fear that President Vladimir Putin is seeking to limit the force's mandate in such a way that any ceasefire would simply consolidate his allies' gains.

Tillerson, who met with representatives to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday, said that the Trump administration made clear to the Kremlin from the beginning that settling tensions in Ukraine would be a necessary to forging closer ties between the USA and Russian Federation.

The United States will maintain sanctions against Russian Federation until it returns full control of Crimea to Ukraine, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday.

Speaking a day ahead of planned talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Tillerson said he hoped to convince Moscow to allow a blue helmet force with a robust mandate.

The gulf between the United States and Russian Federation showed no signs of narrowing Thursday, as top diplomats from the two countries faced off over a proposed U.N. peacekeeping force in Ukraine.

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"We can have differences in other arenas, in Syria, we can have differences in other areas", he said.

Both Tillerson and Lavrov made their sharp remarks before they sat down to meet in late afternoon. We get progress, that's what we get. "You don't solve it in one meeting".

The U.S. has decried Moscow's military involvement in eastern Ukraine, where it has backed pro-Russia separatists, and its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

He also made clear that Washington did not accept Russia's seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Russia's foreign minister called on Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) countries to strengthen efforts to ensure the safety of the internet on Thursday.

"Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russian Federation returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine", Tillerson added.

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