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Tillerson: Ukraine sticking point in US-Russia ties

Tillerson: Ukraine sticking point in US-Russia ties”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that despite a certain amount of progress being made, there is still instability in some parts of the Balkans. The Russian foreign minister also said Russia would continue to implement OSCE projects for the training of counter narcotic police officers.

On Wednesday, Tillerson met North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers and criticised Russian Federation for the mix of state-sponsored computer hacks and Internet disinformation campaigns that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies' intelligence agencies say is targeted at the West.

Moscow has denied supplying arms and fighters.

Speaking a day ahead of planned talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Tillerson said he hoped to convince Moscow to allow a blue helmet force with a robust mandate.

"Russia has long resisted a peacekeeping force, but they have agreed now", Tillerson told reporters after talks with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in Brussels.

"We should be clear about the source of this violence", Tillerson said, referring to increasing ceasefire violations recorded by OSCE monitors in eastern Ukraine.

"In eastern Ukraine we join our European partners in maintaining sanctions until Russian Federation withdraws its forces from the Donbass and meets its Minsk commitments", Tillerson said, referring to a previous peace proposal.

Tillerson is due in Vienna on Thursday for talks with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and United States officials say he is expected to meet Lavrov there.



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