World Bulletin / News Desk
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking Thursday in a joint news conference in Kiev with his Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said the U.S. stands by Ukraine and supports its territorial integrity.
The U.S. State Department said Thursday the new assistance amount brings “the total of U.S. humanitarian assistance since the start of the crisis to more than $135 million.”
Kerry said, “Ukraine is making a good-faith effort to implement [the] Minsk [agreement],” but added that the agreement “is doomed to fail” unless Russia fulfills its commitments.
He said the U.S. requires full implementation of Minsk, meaning a real ceasefire, release of hostages and the withdrawal of all military forces and equipment from the eastern Ukrainian Donbass region.
"If Russia does not fulfill all its commitments on de-escalation, sanctions will not be lifted. It also concerns Crimea," Kerry said.
Separately, last week the European Union prolonged its economic sanctions on Russia by six months, until Jan. 31, 2017, after Moscow failed to fully implement the Minsk agreement.
Ukraine and Russia, with the mediation of France and Germany, signed the Minsk cease-fire agreement in February 2015, which includes the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from combat areas, and of all foreign armed formations, the release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons, as well as political reforms and decentralization in the eastern Ukrainian regions.
Ukrainian, European, and U.S. leaders have accused Russia of supporting the conflict by providing arms and ammunition to the separatists, while Russia says the U.S. and EU have deliberately destabilized Ukraine to expand the West's military presence in Eastern Europe through NATO.
The West has also put sanctions in place against Russia for annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.