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Violence in Eastern Ukraine


The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) cars and tanks are seen in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka, Ukraine, Feb. 1, 2017.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) cars and tanks are seen in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka, Ukraine, Feb. 1, 2017.

The United States is monitoring the growing violence in eastern Ukraine, and is concerned by the failure of combined-Russian separatist forces to honor the ceasefire.

The United States is monitoring the growing violence in eastern Ukraine, and is concerned by the failure of combined-Russian separatist forces to honor the ceasefire, which Russia committed to do when it signed the Minsk agreements.‎ ‎

The United States condemns the recent targeting of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission monitors and the seizure of an unmanned aerial vehicle by combined-Russian separatist forces. It is imperative that these forces halt their attacks on civilian infrastructure, including the Donetsk water filtration station. The United States also calls on Russia and the separatist forces it backs to immediately observe the ceasefire, withdraw all heavy weapons, and allow full and unfettered access to the OSCE monitors.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the United States is ready to work with Russia if it finds common areas for cooperation, but he emphasized that Russia must implement its commitments under the Minsk agreements.

"As we search for new common ground, we expect Russia to honor its commitment to the Minsk agreements and work to de-escalate violence in Ukraine," Secretary Tillerson told reporters on February 16 after meeting with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Bonn.

Secretary Tillerson said the United States would stand up for its interests in areas where differences exist with Russia.

In a written statement, Acting State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner said, "We call on Russia and the separatist forces it backs to immediately observe the cease-fire, withdraw all heavy weapons, and allow full and unfettered access to the OSCE monitors."

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