US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian officials on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 in Sochi, the Russian Federation.
US Secretary of State John Kerry in the discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the best path to peace was the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements:
“I reiterated America’s view that the Minsk agreements are absolutely, in our judgment, by far the best path, the principal path, to peace, and those agreements must be fully implemented, the sooner the better.”
“we continue to disagree on certain components of the walkup to it or certain facts, but we are both in significant agreement on the most important issue of all, which is it will be resolved by the full implementation of Minsk, and we both – all of us and other friends and allies – have responsibilities to undertake in order to effect that implementation. If and when Minsk is fully implemented, it is clear the U.S. and EU sanctions can begin to be rolled back,” added John Kerry.
US Secretary of State underlined that the USA is deeply concerned about the violation of the ceasefire by pro-Russian terrorists in Eastern Ukraine:
“But I also made clear our deep concerns regarding the situation on the ground – continued perceived violations of ceasefire in Shyrokyne and at the Donetsk airport; the continued arming, training, command and control of separate forces. And we believe that this fighting, the fighting that is taking place as a result of this – on any side, whoever has instigated it – that it has gone on for too long. And today, I underscored the steps that the United States hopes to see taken by the parties in the coming – excuse me – in the coming days and weeks.”
John Kerry called on Putin to withdraw weapons from Ukraine, allow monitoring by the OSCE, and release political prisoners, especially Nadia Savchenko,:
“We really believe that a genuine ceasefire in Shyrokyne needs to be undertaken. I think Sergey and President Putin agreed that that is important, as well as the withdrawal of weapons and the demilitarization and monitoring by the OSCE.”
“We would like, clearly, to see the release of political prisoners, including Nadia Savchenko”
“I will tell you that both the president – President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov reiterated their desire to see Minsk fully implemented, and we talked about ways in which we might be able to accelerate that and break down some of the mistrust on both sides which has prevented that from happening.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the best way to settle peace in Eastern Ukraine is political resolution:
“My strongest urging would be for everybody to give the working groups their effort, to stay invested in the Minsk agreement, to continue to push for the political resolution, and to hold back anybody from engaging in self-help through force.”