US, Russia fail to move closer over Ukraine in Vienna

Vienna, Dec 8 (IANS) The differences between the US and Russia are still great over the Ukrainian issue, as top diplomats from both countries kept their tough positions in a meeting here on Thursday.

During an OSCE ministerial meeting, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson said Ukraine was the key obstacle in improving US and Russia relations, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the violence in the eastern part of the state was entirely Ukraine’s responsibility, Xinhua reported.

“It stands as the single most difficult obstacle to us re-normalizing the relationship with Russia, which we badly would like to do,” Tillerson said in a press meeting.

The US top diplomat also said that the US would not lift sanctions against Russia over the issue until the control of Crimea and Donbass region is returned to Kiev.

There was also a bilateral meeting between the two sides in Vienna, however, no progress was reported over the issue, nor was a joint statement from the two countries expected.

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