The fourth round of talks between the US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker and Presidential Aide, Vladislav Surkov is scheduled for next week, as reported by the US Ambassador to Russia, John Huntsman, on Kommersant radio.
"Both sides will meet next week," Huntsman said.
At the same time, he noted that the previous three rounds of negotiations "were unproductive."
According to him, the fact that the negotiation process is underway already inspires confidence.
"It seems to me that this will be the fourth round of negotiations, and I hope that there will be signs of success in the fourth round. I myself feel encouraged," he said.
At the same time, Huntsman believes that Moscow and Washington are moving away from the lowest point in the relations, however they still need to overcome the current contradictions.
According to the diplomat, a significant deterioration in relations took place "as a result of two events: the first is Ukraine and the Crimea, and the second is the elections of 2016 (in the USA)." He stressed that he would like the Minsk Agreements to be implemented, after which the sanctions against Russia will be abolished.
Huntsman stressed that the Ukrainian settlement is the main obstacle in improving relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.
Surkov and Volker met on August 21st in Minsk, and twice in Belgrade on October 7th and November 13th. At their last meeting, they discussed the current state of affairs in the diplomatic sphere regarding efforts to end hostilities in the Donbas, however were unable to reach a unified position. Nevertheless, there was an agreement to continue the search for a compromise.
At the end of November, Surkov announced a new meeting with Volker in the beginning of 2018.