Acting Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Gregory Macris has said Russia is stalling talks between Special Representative Volker and Russian Presidential Advisor Vladislav Surkov.
"The United States greatly appreciates the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to push for implementation of the Minsk agreements. Unfortunately, Russia continues to impede the peace process and is stalling talks between Special Representative Volker and Russian Presidential Advisor Vladislav Surkov," Macris said in a statement delivered to the Permanent Council in Vienna, Austria, on November 8, 2018. "We call on Russia to engage in serious conversations about how to end the conflict, improve security and humanitarian conditions for the local population, and implement Minsk."
He also said the United States joins with others in condemning the so-called "Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics" that plan to hold illegitimate "elections" on November 11.
"These illegal elections, orchestrated by Russia, run counter to the Minsk agreements, obstruct efforts to end the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, and have no basis in Ukrainian law. The Minsk agreements state that the OSCE is to supervise elections, which are to be held in accordance with OSCE standards. This planned November 11 balloting will satisfy none of these conditions," he said.
Macris also said Russia violates Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by its aggressive actions in the Sea of Azov.
"Beyond eastern Ukraine, Russia contravenes OSCE principles and commitments with its occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and its aggressive actions in the Sea of Azov, where it harasses and obstructs international shipping bound for Ukraine's ports. These actions demonstrate Moscow's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he stressed.