Monday, 11 December, 2017

Russian Federation says Pyongyang wants direct talks with Washington: agencies

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday Dec. 6 2017 NATO Chief Says He Isn't Concerned With Rumors Of Tillerson's Ouster
Melinda Barton | 08 December, 2017, 07:52

But Western powers fear that President Vladimir Putin is seeking to limit the force's mandate in such a way that any ceasefire would simply consolidate his allies' gains.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today that Ukraine was the sole sticking point keeping the United States and Russian Federation from forging a closer relationship, suggesting that all other disputes were secondary. "We are ready to support that, we are ready to take part in facilitating such negotiations", Mr Lavrov said at an global conference in Vienna, according to the Interfax news agency.

"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.

Moscow is deeply concerned about the situation with the observance of rights and freedoms throughout the Euro-Atlantic space, the practice of dividing media outlets into "free" and "propaganda" is vicious, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told an OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

In his speech to the gathering, Tillerson went even further in spelling out Russia's involvement in the conflict and the consequences it faced than he had the day before in Brussels.

"The issue that stands in the way is Ukraine", Tillerson said, according to The Associated Press.

Tillerson also accused the Russian military of actively fighting in eastern Ukraine, saying they are "arming, leading, training and fighting alongside anti-government forces".

Both Tillerson and Lavrov made their sharp remarks before they sat down to meet in late afternoon.

"We can have differences in other areas, but when one country invades another, that is a difference that is hard to look past or to reconcile", Tillerson told reporters at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a group created during the Cold War to encourage dialogue between East and West. We get progress, that's what we get. "In eastern Ukraine, we join our European partners in maintaining sanctions until Russian Federation withdraws its forces from the Donbas".

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