Some parts of Balkans still unstable, says Tillerson

Sergio Conner
Декабря 7, 2017

The United States would "badly" like to lift sanctions against Russian Federation but will not do so until Moscow has pulled its forces out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday, calling that the main obstacle to normal ties. "We urge concentrating on (the) elaboration and implementation of specific additional confidence building measures in order to secure the cyber security and not to waste breath with unfounded accusations without any fact", Sergei Lavrov told a meeting of foreign ministers from OSCE countries.

"We prioritise ending the violence, that's our first priority, and to seek to do that we need to put a peacekeeping force in place", Tillerson said. He says Russian Federation is "arming, leading, training and fighting alongside anti-government forces" in Ukraine.

But Western powers fear that President Vladimir Putin is seeking to limit the force's mandate in such a way that any ceasefire would simply consolidate his allies' gains.

"We will continue to work with Russian Federation to see if we could not agree a peacekeeping force that could enter Ukraine (and) reduce the violence", Tillerson told the news conference.

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Tillerson spoke on Thursday in Vienna, Austria, where he is attending the OSCE Ministerial Council. "People are still dying every day", he said.

The OSCE has around 600 unarmed monitors in Ukraine and the USA and European leaders are considering adding United Nations peacekeepers to the county to bolster them.

One observer, an American, was killed in April 2017 in eastern Ukraine when his vehicle hit a landmine.

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