Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that if the United States supplies weapons to Ukraine, the offensive of the Russian troops and the pro-Russian rebels would be inevitable. He stated this at a press conference in Budapest: “According to our information, the US has already supplied weapons to the territory of Ukraine. I am deeply convinced that whoever and whatever weapons will supply, the number of victims, of course, may be increased, but the result will be the same as today.”
U.S. – Russia Diplomacy: Ukraine is important, but not more important than Iran
The assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, Victoria Nuland, said to “dig deeper” for the full implementation of all aspects of the Minsk Agreement and urged Ukraine, Russia and international mediators to resolve the eastern Ukrainian conflict.
Nuland said in Moscow that the U.S. could support the implementation of the Minsk Agreement. And it looks like the other participants in the process don’t have anything against it. The United States did not participate in the negotiations in Minsk in September 2014 and February 2015 in the “Norman format” (Germany – France – Ukraine – Russia).
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, anticipating his talks with Nuland, shared his vision on the role of the United States. He said that the focus should be on how Washington is influencing Kyiv to “not allow disruption in power scenarios” and “seeks to start a political process through direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.”
Nuland’s visit to Moscow and the recent meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vladimir Putin as well as the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrovwas viewed by observers as the resumption of the dialogue between the United States and Russia, which stopped after the Ukrainian crisis and has led to the most dramatic aggravation of the relations between Moscow and Washington since the Cold War.
The day before her visit to Russia, it had become known about the capture by Ukrainian armed forces of the two Russians, who are believed by the authorities of Ukraine to be the Russian military men. “We welcome the Ukraine government’s public statements that they are being well taken care of and that the International Committee of the Red Cross… will be allowed access to them,” Nuland said in Moscow.
Nuland also said that there was no intention in Kyiv to resume hostilities in eastern Ukraine.