: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Impossible to have meaningful reforms in Ukraine when borders unstable: U.S. State Department


U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Benjamin Ziff was critical of Russia`s failure to implement the Minsk agreements in Donbas in an interview with Lithuania`s LNK TV.
”Our position on Minsk Agreements is very clear: they have to be fully implemented before any sanction relief on Russia can be contemplated,” said Ziff.
”It is impossible to have meaningful reforms inside Ukraine when the borders are unstable,” the U.S. official said answering the reporter`s question on what should be done first – state border control restored or should local election be held. ”We have seen increasing violence since the Easter ceasefire mostly from the separatist areas. These are areas that Russia controls and can certainly make the violence cease if it so chooses and that would be a precondition for any further movement,” he said.
Mr Ziff also expressed confidence that the EU will roll over sanctions against Russia in June.
”Sanctions need to remain in place until such time that Russia changes its behavior,” he said.
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said that the Ukrainian conflict remains one of the main issues at all levels – starting from the tactical issue of border control to violence in general  and, ”of course, Russia`s aggression in Ukraine and Crimea.”
Ziff said that, ”even if Russia implements the Minsk Agreements, ”our sanctions on Russia for its temporarily occupation of Crimea will stay in place. We obviously call on Russia to end the occupation and restore Crimea to Ukraine.”
Answering a question whether Washington believes Moscow will implement the Minsk Agreements, the U.S. official said: ”We would hope so. We all want Russia to be a responsible member of the international community that observes international law, observes human rights. We think that Russia can play a productive role but it certainly needs to change its behavior to do so.”

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1 Comment

  1. It is ironic that this US tells Ukraine that you need to secure your boarders: ”It is impossible to have meaningful reforms inside Ukraine when the borders are unstable,” the U.S. official said answering the reporter`s question on what should be done first – state border control restored or should local election be held.” It is an underlying principal and key to enact and ensure reforms. However, I find it very ironic that we do not do the same here in America with our southern border. Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump calls for securing our southern boarder. The principal here is universal. So, likewise Mr. Trump says we cannot have immigration reform, including deportation of illegals and reprocessing those who wish to come back as legal immigrants UNTIL the board is secure. This has been vastly ignored for over 30 years due to political corruption where Democrats want increased dependency by illegals on our over burdened welfare system and the Republican let the illegals in to have cheap labor. But to have a country and make needed reforms we all need strong and secure borders.

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