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Tillerson: Ukraine - biggest obstacle to normal Russian Federation ties

Tillerson: Ukraine - biggest obstacle to normal Russian Federation ties”

Tillerson, who met with representatives to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday, said that the Trump administration made clear to the Kremlin from the beginning that settling tensions in Ukraine would be a necessary to forging closer ties between the USA and Russian Federation.

"We've made this clear to Russian Federation from the very beginning, that we must address Ukraine".

"And Russia's continued use of hybrid warfare seeks to undermine Western institutions, and this stands as a significant obstacle to normalizing our relations, as well".

Moscow has denied supplying arms and fighters.

"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.

Referring to increasing ceasefire violations recorded by the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission, Tillerson said that "we should be clear about the source of this violence".

"Russia is arming, leading, training and fighting alongside anti-government forces".

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

He also made clear that Washington did not accept Russia's seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

"Russia's aggression in Ukraine remains the biggest threat to European security", he said on Wednesday.



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