“Well, we’re working on that very, very closely, and we’ve had conversations directly with the Russians and others,” Kerry said, answering the question what can be done about fighting in Ukraine. "Russia knows what it can do immediately to be of help, and we hope they will.”
Kerry underscored that Latvia understands its important role of the Presidency of the European Union and the unified European response to the situation in Ukraine, because it is “a frontline state with respect to this challenge, and they are also a very important NATO ally."
At least 27 people died last week in attacks on the city of Donetsk, which has been under Ukrainian army rocket fire over the past few months.
Last spring, Kiev launched a military operation in southeastern Ukraine in response to local residents' refusal to recognize the new coup-installed government. A ceasefire agreement has been reached since then, but fighting continues in the region, leading to more civilian casualties.
The United Nations estimates that over 5,000 have been killed in the fighting, while some 1.4 million residents of southeastern Ukraine desperately need humanitarian assistance. According to the World Health Organization, hostilities have destroyed or led to the closure of half of the health care facilities in eastern Ukraine and over 70 percent of health workers have fled the region.