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    Pentagon ‘Wall of Silence’ Will Not Solve Ukraine Crisis - Russian Embassy

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    Even during the Cold War the US and USSR maintained military-to-military contacts amid crisis situations, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Russian Embassy in the US Oleg Stepanov said. But all communication between Washington and Moscow has been curtailed under US President Barack Obama's administration, he added.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States needs to open military and intelligence communication channels with Russia as silence will not resolve tensions over the conflict in Ukraine, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Russian Embassy in the United States Oleg V. Stepanov, told Sputnik.

    "You have to talk when you're in crisis. You cannot put up a wall of silence and think that problems will go away by themselves. In order to solve the problem, you need to talk," Stepanov said on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, the Pentagon cut-off all those contacts with our [Defense] Ministry."

    Stepanov's comments came after a lecture at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, during which he frankly explained that US-Russian relations are at its lowest point since the Cold War, primarily because of the lack of mechanisms for interaction.

    Yet even during the Cold War, according to Stepanov, the United States and Soviet Union maintained military-to-military contacts amid crisis situations. But all communication between Washington and Moscow has been curtailed under US President Barack Obama's administration, he added.

    The crisis in Ukraine itself was driven by breakdowns in communication and misunderstandings, Stepanov said. He stated that this began with an "unconstitutional and undemocratic" coup in Kiev that the United States failed to condemn, followed by a failure in diplomacy with eastern Ukraine.

    "The original cause of the crisis in Ukraine, as we see it, lies in the inability of the US and Kiev to conduct peaceful dialogue with its [Kiev's] own people," Stepanov noted.

    On Wednesday, Ukraine Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that Kiev had no intentions of holding direct talks with eastern Ukraine's pro-independent forces, governing large areas.

    In February, the Normandy Four, including the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany facilitated a deal aimed at ending the military conflict between Kiev forces and independence militias.

    The truce stipulated a ceasefire that came into force on February 15, heavy weaponry pullout, an "all-for-all" prisoner exchange and granting special status to Ukraine's southeast regions.

    The fighting has claimed over 6,000 lives since April 2014, according to the United Nations.


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