Published: Mon, July 10, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Secretary of State Tillerson Visits Ukraine

The State Department said Volker is expected to hold regular meetings with Ukraine, Russia and others.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as special representative to Ukraine, the State Department said Friday.

The posters feature the slogan: "Look closely at their faces" and aim to generate "more active opposition" to Russian Federation, which the centre called "an Empire of Evil".

He also urged the Kremlin to allow the OSCE, a pan-European security body, to carry out their responsibilities.

Tillerson did not mention Crimea during the Sunday press conference, but he did suggest that Russia's annexation of the peninsula is still a major point of contention in the ongoing diplomatic talks on sanctions, reports the Washington Post.

The U.S. secretary of state will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday and "reaffirm America's commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity", the State Department said.

Ukraine has counted on USA support against Russian Federation since a pro-Western government took power following street protests in 2014 that ousted a Kremlin-backed president.

"We came to agreement with the secretary-general that Ukraine and the whole world today need strong and decisive actions by the United Nations like never before", Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko hailed USA involvement and reiterated Tillerson's commitment to seeking a negotiated peace deal. "We want to acknowledge that, (but) we still have more to do", he said. "We firmly adhere to our commitments", he said.

The United States has tapped its former US ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as a special envoy to negotiate over the fate of war-racked Ukraine. "The United States remains fully committed to the objectives of the Minsk agreements, and I have complete confidence in Kurt to continue our efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine".

Speaking to a group of reform advocates at the US ambassador's residence, Tillerson praised Ukraine's progress in combating graft but made clear that more must be accomplished.

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