15 January 2016, 11:13 GMT
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Discussions between US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov in Kaliningrad today on the Ukraine conflict were constructive, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.
"Nuland met today with Russian Presidential Adviser Vladislav Surkov in Kaliningrad, Russia, and there they discussed situation in eastern Ukraine," Kirby stated. "The talks were constructive and designed to support the ongoing work of the Normandy countries and trilateral contact group."
Surkov in turn described the talks, which lasted about six hours, as "substantial" and "helpful."
In February 2015, Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine worked out a ceasefire deal in Minsk to settle a conflict between Kiev and Donbass militias.
Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence militias in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region in April 2014. The confrontation has claimed over 9,000 lives, according to UN estimates.