"We continue to believe that 2016 can and should be the year that Ukraine breaks free from the unholy alliance of dirty money and dirty politics, which has ripped off Ukrainians for far too long," Nuland stated.
Victoria Nuland also said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), along with the US government, cannot provide further financial assistance to Ukraine due to political instability in the country.
"The IMF, like the US government, doesn’t have a choice right now, so long as we are not sure who our partner will be on the other side of the table," Nuland said.
"No decision has been made on that [lethal aid], but we are continuing to train and we will have a big training budget for 2016 as well," Nuland stated
Nuland further noted there is no "offensive combat now… but the hope, both on the Ukrainian side and in the international community, is that we can settle this through implementation of Minsk and withdrawal of Russian forces."
Nuland made the comment in response to a question whether the Ukrainian military could push "separatists" back if Kiev is provided lethal assistance by the United States.
Kiev launched a military operation against independence-seeking militias in Ukraine’s Donbas region in April 2014. The confrontation has claimed more than 9,000 lives, according to UN estimates.
In February 2015, Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine worked out the second Minsk ceasefire agreement to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine.