Tillerson Set To Meet Poroshenko In First Official Visit To Ukraine

"It is necessary for Russian Federation to take the first steps to de-escalate the situation in the eastern part of Ukraine", Tillerson told reporters at a joint news conference in Kiev with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. And we do not rule out that we'll be able to arrange a summit following these phone talks.

According to the president, Ukraine is not interested in delaying such negotiations, because "Ukraine pays a high price - its heroes are wounded and killed" every day.

Volker, who was the USA permanent representative to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in July 2008-May 2009, and is now the executive director at a DC-based think tank, the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, was appointed a special representative to Ukraine on Friday. He said a primary goal of the United States "is to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty" and that would be "required in order for the US and Russian Federation to improve our relationship".

The West imposed economic sanctions after Russian Federation annexed Crimea and fomented an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, in the wake of pro-democracy protests that ousted pro-Moscow politicians from power in Kiev.

Tillerson's short visit to Kiev comes as the US explores taking a greater role in a European-led effort to end the three-year conflict in Ukraine's east that has claimed around 10,000 lives.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Turkey today after a stop in Ukraine Sunday morning.

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The continuing war in the industrial Donbas region has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced about 1.7 million, and dealt a heavy blow to Ukraine as it tries to break with Russian Federation and integrate with the European Union.

Poroshenko, who said Volker would remain in Ukraine for the next several days, maintained that a resolution to the crisis "needs only the political will of Moscow". "That's why the keys to peaceful settlement are in Moscow". Washington calls it an "annexation" and says that the sanctions will not be lifted until the peninsula becomes part of Ukraine again.

After a meeting later Sunday with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Poroshenko called on the world body to take a more active role in addressing Ukraine's problems.

"In all candidness, we did not expect an answer other than the one we received", he said Sunday.

"Most of all we want peace in Ukraine".

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