Ukraine in the State Department Daily Press Briefing

We welcome today’s meeting among Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, and President  Poroshenko in Berlin, and their ongoing shared commitment to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

We remain concerned about violence in eastern Ukraine.  Our analysis continues to show, and as I have said before, it is the combined Russian-separatist forces, and not Ukrainian forces, who are initiating aggressive activities.

Ukraine’s military posture continues to be defensive.  We firmly reject Russia’s efforts to point to Ukraine as the aggressor.  There is no indication that Ukraine intends to conduct or is undertaking preparations for offensive operations in their own country, eastern Ukraine.

We commend the OSCE’s ongoing efforts to facilitate Minsk implementation and condemn separatist attacks and pressure on the monitors, which we continue to see.  We call on Russia and the separatists to end the violence and begin full implementation of the Minsk agreements, including ensuring safety and full access for OSCE monitors.