"On Minsk: We considered the importance of the accords. Russia can make progress in implementation by de-escalating violence and taking steps to withdraw separatist armed forces and heavy weapons so that OSCE observers can fulfill their role," he said at a Moscow press conference jointly with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday, April 12, after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read alsoUkraine reports 5 WIAs amid 45 enemy attacks in last day"Until full progress is made on the Minsk accords, the situation in Ukraine will remain an obstacle to improvement in relations between the U.S. and Russia," he said.