Meeting between the President and the U.S. Secretary of State: We have coordinated interaction and algorithm of the joint work for the further progress in the Minsk process

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President Petro Poroshenko called the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ukraine symbolic and timely. “We see a powerful signal of support for Ukraine, our common struggle for democratic values, freedom and democracy in today’s visit,” Petro Poroshenko said in the joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson following the meeting.

The Head of State noted that the Ukrainian party had been informed in details on the negotiations in Hamburg during the G20 Summit. The parties have coordinated their future actions. The President expressed confidence that at their first meeting the Presidents of the U.S. and Russia had discussed the situation in Donbas and the reaction to Russia’s non-compliance with the Minsk agreements and non-implementation of clear and direct steps on de-occupation of Ukraine and restoration of peace on the Ukrainian land.

“Once again, Kyiv did not unleash this war, there are no Ukrainian troops on the Russian territory, we did not plan this war and did not start this. It was planned and started in Moscow. That is why, the keys from the peaceful resolution are kept in Moscow,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

The Head of State noted Ukraine’s clear commitment to the peace process. “Most of all, we seek peace in Ukraine. We strictly adhere to our commitments under the Minsk process, count on the assistance of our partners from the United States in the Normandy format and expect sober understanding of this situation in Russia,” he said.

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“This is the key result of our meeting – we have coordinated interaction and algorithm of the joint work for the further progress in the Minsk process,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

“We are confident that Russia must demonstrate its good will to the peace resolution in Donbas and cease murder, cease war, cease hybrid attacks not only in the east of our state, not only in Crimea, but also improve the situation with cybercrimes, cease propagandistic, trade, energy and other types of wars that are components of Russian hybrid warfare,” Petro Poroshenko noted.

The President regretfully stated that there are no noticeable changes in Russia’s behavior. He informed the U.S. Secretary of State on the present situation in Donbas and the restriction of the OSCE SMM activity by Russia.

The President reminded that paramedic – representative of the mission, citizen of the U.S. Joseph Stone had been killed recently in the occupied territory by pro-Russian militants. The Head of State presented a high state award of Ukraine to this OSCE representative.

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According to Petro Poroshenko, unless Moscow wants to lose its chance once again, it should stick to the logic that is followed by all the other members of the Normandy format. First – stable and reliable ceasefire. Second – withdrawal of all Russian troops from the Ukrainian territory. Third – cessation of intimidation of the international observers with consideration that the OSCE SMM will be frightened and leave the Ukrainian territory. He expressed confidence that those were very dangerous plans that must not be allowed. Fourth – ensuring reliable control by the international forces over the uncontrolled area of the Ukraine-Russia border and the touch line to guarantee stable ceasefire, peace and cease infiltration of weapons. Fifth – liberation of all hostages illegally held in the occupied territories and Russian prisons.

“I am confident that the fulfillment of these – minimum – security requirements could intensify the peace process, which, unfortunately, lacks only the political will of Moscow,” Petro Poroshenko stated.

In his turn, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasized that USA supports the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We seek safety and security of all Ukrainian citizen regardless of their nationality or religion. As long as the parties are committed to these goals, I am confident we will be able to achieve progress,” he said.

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Rex Tillerson noted that in his negotiations with Russian leadership he had repeatedly emphasized that it was necessary for Russia to take the first steps on de-escalation in the east of Ukraine. “Respect ceasefire, withdraw heavy weaponry and allow the OSCE observers perform their duties,” he stressed.

“We are disappointed with the absence of progress in the Minsk agreements that is why we appointed special representative to make an additional emphasis. We will continue close coordination in the Normandy format, coordination with you and Russian leadership to achieve progress promptly,” the U.S. Secretary of State said.

He urged Russia to respect its commitments under the Minsk agreements and exercise its influence on separatists in the region fully controlled by Russia to cease violence in the east of Ukraine. “We urge to provide the observers with a complete access to all the territories, so that they can perform their mission not only on the touch line, but also along the entire Ukraine-Russia border,” the U.S. Secretary of State emphasized.