13 Feb 2018 13:47

High-ranking U.S. diplomat ties normalization of Russia-U.S. relations to implementation of Minsk Agreements

MOSCOW. Feb 13 (Interfax) - An improvement in relations between Russia and the United States depends primarily on the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec said.

"If we can work together to ensure that Minsk is fully implemented, it will go a long way towards really improving the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship," Kavalec, who is responsible for Russia and for Policy and Regional Affairs at the Department of State's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, said in a video the U.S. embassy to Russia posted on its Twitter account.

The full implementation of the Minsk Agreements is one of the ways to improve relations between Moscow and Washington, Kavalec said.

"This is a place where we think it's important to work together to ensure that the Minsk Agreements, which are for a path forward towards peace, should be implemented so the fighting can stop so people can get back to normal lives and so that the relationship between Russia and the West can also improve," she said.

"One of the great points of contention is Russian aggression in Ukraine. It is also a situation where people are suffering terribly in eastern Ukraine," she said.

"In fact, in Ukraine, it's the one place where Russian-speaking people are not safe and really at risk because of the fighting, because of all the economic dislocation and problems," Kavalec said.