U.S. confirms its commitment to maintain sanctions against Russia related to its aggression against Ukraine
The United States and Ukraine consider it necessary to further strengthen Kyiv's capacities to confront "Russian aggression," the U.S. Department of State has said.
"Both sides decided that a robust UN-mandated international security force in the areas of Donbas controlled by Russia, including the Ukraine-Russia international border, would create the necessary security conditions for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements," a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin reads.
The statement was posted by the U.S. State Department following a meeting of the bilateral strategic partnership commission held in Washington.
It says that "the United States confirmed its commitment to maintain sanctions against Russia related to its aggression against Ukraine until Russia fully implements the Minsk agreements and returns Crimea to Ukrainian control."
Both sides decided that a robust UN-mandated international security force in the areas of Donbas controlled by Russia, including the Ukraine-Russia international border, would create the necessary security conditions for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
"The United States condemned Russia’s aggressive actions against international shipping transiting the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports," the statement reads.
"Russia's aggressive activities in the Sea of Azov have brought new security, economic, social, and environmental threats to the entire Azov-Black Sea region," it says.
The sides also "underscored the need for continued gas transit through Ukraine, and emphasized their opposition to energy projects that threaten European energy diversity and security."
"In particular, the United States and Ukraine stressed the importance of continued coordination to stop proposed Russian pipelines that would hurt Ukraine's economic and strategic stability, such as Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream," it says.
They decided to create three new bilateral working groups focused on Security and Countering Russian Aggression; Rule of Law and Humanitarian Issues; and Economy and Energy. These groups will meet regularly to discuss areas of mutual concern and advance joint objectives. The 2018 Strategic Partnership Commission’s meeting featured inaugural sessions of each working group.