Washington briefs Kyiv on Nuland-Surkov meeting - Embassy
The United States has briefed Kyiv on the negotiations held between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has said.
On Saturday, January 16, the U.S. officials have briefed senior Ukrainian officials on Bankova Street [where Ukraine's presidential administration is located], and also Ukrainian government about Assistant Secretary of State Nuland's talks with Surkov, the Embassy said in a statement.
This meeting was scheduled during the talks of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on January 15.
The talks on January 15 were constructive and designed to support the ongoing work of the Normandy Four countries and the Trilateral Contact Group, the Embassy noted.
"Assistant Secretary Nuland's meeting with Presidential Advisor Surkov was part of our continued efforts to work with Russia to ensure full implementation of the Minsk agreements, in close coordination with the other Normandy powers—Ukraine, Germany, and France. They are open to meeting again, if useful to the Normandy Process," the Embassy said, stressing that the U.S. "routinely updates Ukrainian and European partners, including France and Germany, on conversations with Russia."
The behind-closed-doors meeting between Nuland and Surkov was held at a presidential residence in Pionersk, near Kaliningrad (Russia) on Friday, January 15. The talks lasted for about six hours.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a statement, saying that the discussion focused on the situation in eastern Ukraine and the need for full implementation on the Minsk agreements.