MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States is planning on reaching an actual result in settling the conflict in Ukraine this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"From our conversations with those in the US Administration who are responsible for Ukrainian policy, it seems that they would like to reach an actual result this year. The key motivator in this is probably the need to show something to the community after Barack Obama’s presidential term ends," Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s Moskovsky Komsomolets daily.
In February 2015, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France brokered the Minsk peace deal, later signed by representatives of Kiev and the Donbas militias. The Minsk agreements stipulate a ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, constitutional reforms to decentralize power in the country, and the granting of a special status to the Donbas region.
The United States has been assisting Ukraine with economic and non-lethal military aid following the 2014 political crisis and Crimea’s referendum to reunite with Russia. Up to 300 US troops were deployed in Ukraine to train the country’s National Guard from April until November 2015.