Volker: US ready to partially remove sanctions from Russia if Kremlin implements the Minsk agreements

The United States is ready to partially lift sanctions against Russia after full implementation of the Minsk agreements in the Donbas,stated US special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with Echo of Moscow.

"It's very simple, very, very simple. Secretary of State Tillerson, Pentagon chief James Mattis, [and] the US president have spoken about this: we want to see the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, [and] security and protection for all citizens of Ukraine regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religion. And on a more fundamental level, as President Donald Trump has said many times, we want peace," he said.

Volker stressed that both European and American sanctions fall into different categories.

"There are sanctions imposed for the alleged annexation of the Crimea. There are sanctions imposed later for the invasion of the Donbas. There are sanctions under the Magnitsky Act. There are sanctions for Russia's interference in the American elections. And these are all different groups of sanctions. The most severe sanctions were imposed on Russia for non-compliance with the Minsk agreements, and if Russia were to withdraw from the Donbas, the provisions of the Minsk agreements applied, and we could see the restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty, then these sanctions would be lifted," the US special Representative for Ukraine said.

"I think that Russia wants Ukraine to be part of a large Russian orbit, part of a large Slavic family, to have good relations with Russia and a government friendly to Russia. But ironically, the output is exactly the opposite; the Ukrainian government is now more skeptical about Russia, more nationalistic and pro-Western than ever. And this attitude is now being strengthened in the younger generation of Ukrainians, because all they know is Russia's invasion of their country's territory and the violence that has come from this invasion. So it is Russia's decision to figure out what it’s interest is in this; but so far it is not working. If Russia's goals remain the same, then its tactics must change. Occupational holding of the territory does not work," Volker added.


  Volker, US, Sanctions on Russia, Minsk agreements, annexation of Crimea