Thursday, December 7 2017 16:29 EET
USA
Russia’s illegal occupation of Ukraine is the biggest threat to European security - Rex Tillerson
Russia, illegal occupation, Ukraine, Europe, Rex Tillerson, U.S. State Secretary, hybrid warfare, crimea, NATO

Tillerson assured that NATO allies stand firm in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and their territorial integrity.

U.S. sees Russia's aggression in Ukraine as the biggest threat to European security, and demands continued transatlantic unity in confronting that threat, U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson has told a press conference in Brussels where a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting was held, VOA reports.

“We do not accept Russia’s efforts to change the internationally-recognized borders of Ukraine or recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.” Tillerson noted. 

At the same time, he said that Washington had been clear with Russia that "we cannot return to business as usual in the NATO-Russia relations, as long as Russia continues its illegal occupation of Ukraine."

In addition, he said, Russia's continued use of hybrid warfare seeks to undermine Western institutions, and "this stands as a significant obstacle to normalizing our relations, as well."

“Russia has long resisted a peacekeeping force, but they have agreed now, and as you point out, they put the first proposal forward for peacekeepers. I think it’s significant that we’re talking about the right thing,” he said. 

Tillerson has underlined that the U.S. and Russia have a significant difference between the mandate that a peacekeeping force would be given and the scope of their mandate, and expressed hope to “close those gaps”.

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