On March 24, US Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. The American said that his country fully supported Ukraine in its claims to Russia.
"We discussed the difficult situation in Ukraine. The USA is firmly focused on the protection of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. This also applies to the Crimea and our President Obama has confirmed this commitment in a talk to Vladimir Putin. We believe that the Minsk agreements must be immediately implemented..." Kerry said.
In addition, John Kerry noted that it is necessary to take some definite steps to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine and provide the withdrawal of Russian troops from the state’s territory allowing monitoring mission to carry out its work effectively.
Furthermore, he assured that they had discussed the issue of local elections in some regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk districts.
"We also talked about the elections in the Donbass – these are critical steps in this process," he said.
According to Kerry, Obama is ready to lift Russian sanctions, but Russia should fulfill Minsk agreements for this. In particular, it should restore the sovereignty of Ukraine and return the Crimea, withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian territory and give all the Ukrainian prisoners (including Savchenko) a chance to come back home.
"In addition, President Obama is ready to lift the sanctions if all the items of the Minsk agreements will be fulfilled including the military withdrawal and closure of the Ukrainian border in the south.
"Nadezhda Savchenko should be allowed to come back to Ukraine, this problem should be solved, everyone should go home," Kerry claimed.