"One thing is very clear. Russia is not and has never been a mediator in this conflict. The United States urges Russia to reverse its unhelpful and harmful approach to the conflict it foments and remove its forces and hardware from eastern Ukraine," said Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., James E. Donegan.
According to the American diplomat, instead of engaging in good faith and taking concrete actions to improve the lives of the civilians residing in areas it temporarily controls, Russia used the Trilateral Contact Group to stymie progress.
"We all see Russia’s ploy for what it is – an attempt to force Ukraine into direct negotiations with Moscow’s proxy forces. Russia’s obstructionist approach to peace negotiations exposes its true motive in fomenting violence in eastern Ukraine – a pointless attempt to obstruct Ukraine’s freely chosen path of full integration with the Euro-Atlantic community," Donegan said.
Separately, he called on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea and cease its mistreatment of Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians, and others.
"It is now time for Russia to end its adventurism in Ukraine, recall the commitments it has made to the principles of the OSCE, and fulfill its Minsk commitments and responsibilities under these agreements," the U.S. diplomat added.
As Ukrinform reported, during a meeting of the Permanent Council, the EU Delegation also stated that the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine was caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation, which is by no means its mediator.
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