13:58 19.12.2018

Volker ready to meet Surkov if Russia demonstrates readiness to release Ukrainian seamen — MP

2 min read
Volker ready to meet Surkov if Russia demonstrates readiness to release Ukrainian seamen — MP

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker said at a meeting with members of the Ukrainian parliament that he had canceled his meeting with the Russian president's aid Vladislav Surkov because there had been no signals from Moscow to confirm its readiness to release the Ukrainian naval seamen who were taken prisoners of war near the Kerch Strait on November 25, MP Anna Gopko, head of the Verkhovna Rada's committee on foreign affairs, has said.

"Volker said he had canceled his meeting with Surkov and hopes that next year Russia will be able to demonstrate a more progressive approach instead of the lack of any steps by the Kremlin towards a peacekeeping mission and the release of the Ukrainian hostages," Hopko told reports on December 19 following a meeting with Volker in Kyiv.

"He said [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump had canceled his meeting [with Russian President Vladimir Putin] at the G20 summit because no progress could be seen on the Russian side in terms of releasing the seamen who are considered prisoners of war. Therefore, there was no need to meet," the MP said.

Hopko said the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine also assured her that if the Russian party demonstrates readiness for reaching some progress in releasing the Ukrainian seamen, starting from January next year, they will be able to start discussing the arrangements for a meeting with Surkov.

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