Rex Tillerson says Russian Federation must reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on July 5 that Tillerson would "reaffirm" Washington's "commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and encourage Kyiv to continue implementing reforms to strengthen its "economic, political, and military resilience".

Tillerson has appointed a special envoy to examine possibilities for jump-starting implementation of a two-year-old peace roadmap known as the Minsk Agreement.

Later, the press Secretary of the Ukrainian head of Svyatoslav Tsigalko reported that Poroshenko holds talks tete-a-tete with Tillerson, after which the planned negotiations in the extended format.

"The U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russian Federation will remain in place until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered these particular sanctions", the secretary of state said.

In surprisingly blunt language just two days after presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in Germany, Tillerson said Russian Federation should use its influence with separatists in Ukraine's east to fully restore an oft-violated truce, end harassment and attacks on worldwide monitors and pull back heavy weaponry to lines agreed upon under a two-year-old accord known as the Minsk Agreement.

Volker will accompany Tillerson on his upcoming trip to Ukraine on Sunday, the State Department said. He also expressed deep appreciation for his "symbolic and timely visit immediately after the meetings at the G-20 in Hamburg", where Mr. Trump met with Putin.

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When pressed on the question, Mr. Tillerson used language he had used Friday night, as the meeting in Hamburg broke up, calling the election hacks the "first topic for discussion".

"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. "And so I think that was about the way we expected the conversation to go".

The top USA diplomat also said Washington would explore ways of changing the status quo in the Ukraine crisis, and said Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has prevented better ties with Moscow.

"In today's visit we see a powerful signal of USA support in our common fight for democratic values, for freedom and democracy", the Ukrainian president told reporters. "We have to find a way to begin to address that, and it's not going to be only about Russian Federation, it's going to be about worldwide engagement as well".

He noted that Mr. Trump agreed with Putin on the cyber front, and that they are looking to explore ways to deal with cyber threats and cyber security.

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