The US supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and calls on Russia to withdraw troops and equipment from the occupied territories to end hostilities.

This was reported by the US embassy press service in response to Russian President Putin’s deputy chief of staff, Dmitriy Kozak, who said that US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland allegedly supported the autonomy of the occupied Donbas territories.

As the diplomatic office noted, normally diplomats do not publicly disclose the contents of routine closed diplomatic talks.

“We do, however, recall that the United States has consistently supported Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence in the face of Russian aggression,” the embassy said.

The press office added that Russia must honour its commitments under the Minsk agreement and work sincerely to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“About the peace talks, it is very clear: the main obstacle to peace is Russia. Russia started this conflict and is now fully responsible for ending it. Russia must demonstrate serious and constructive engagement by fulfilling its security obligations under the Minsk agreements,” the embassy said.

The US therefore called on Russia to withdraw its mercenaries and military equipment from the occupied territories.

“We strongly urge Russia to fully implement its Minsk commitments, withdraw its weapons and the forces it controls from Ukraine, and return Ukraine to full control of its internationally recognized borders,” the diplomatic mission concluded.