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The US would “badly” like to lift sanctions against Russia but will not do so until Moscow has pulled its forces out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

“We should be clear about the source of this violence,” Tillerson said, referring to increasing ceasefire violations recorded by OSCE monitors in eastern Ukraine. “Russia is arming, leading, training and fighting alongside anti-government forces. We call on Russia and its proxies to end its harassment, intimidation and its attacks on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.”

“In eastern Ukraine, we join our European partners in maintaining sanctions until Russia withdraws its forces from the Donbass (region) and meets its Minsk commitments,” Tillerson said.

 

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