The US does not plan to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, said US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with the German TV channel OstWest.
“I think the American media rushed with the story on the possibility of recognizing the annexation of Crimea. The White House has further expressed itself very clearly: US National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have explained that the US does not plan to recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea. And so the US position should be understood,” Volker said.
He added that the US Presidential Administration has consistently supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
When asked whether Ukraine would risk losing the West’s support on account of problems with corruption and ultra-right movements, Volker remarked that Ukraine has carried out a significant number of reforms over the last three years: the pension reform, the education reform and that of healthcare.
“If you look at the number of reforms that have been made, it’s really impressive… All of this would not be easy for any society, and Ukraine has had a lot of them, it has created a special prosecutor’s office [against corruption]. Finally, they have recently pushed a bill on the anti-corruption court, which, at the final stages, we hope will meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund. All of these are very positive steps. But of course, this is not enough. Ukraine still has significant problems with corruption, and significant space for reforms which have not yet been made, but need to be made. A great deal still needs to be done,” he added.
The US special representative does not think that the ultra-right movement influences state policy.
“Fortunately, it is only a small minority, which does not influence state policy and does not affect which direction Ukraine develops in. And so it is not a concern of mine, but it is important that the leaders of Ukraine condemn it too,” Walker commented.
Previously, US President Donald Trump responded “We’ll see” when asked whether the US would recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.