U.S. says Russia needs to tell militants to stand down in eastern Ukrainian buildings

By Kyle Johnson,

The United States announced that Russia needs to get the pro-Russian militant forces to abandon their hold over several eastern Ukrainian cities, just a day after a de-escalation accord was agreed upon.

According to Voice of America, Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, said that it is Russia's "responsibility" to get the militants out. She also noted that there would be "consequences" should Moscow not hold up its end of the deal.

On Thursday, as previously reported, Russia, the U.S., along with the European Union and Ukraine sat down and hammered out the framework of a deal aimed at de-escalating the situation. Many of the issues agreed will have to come from Russia's end.

After a six-hour meeting the four sides were able to come together and agree upon instituting a political reform program, demobilizing militias as well as getting the pro-Russian forces to leave the held Ukrainian buildings.

That last issue will require some influence upon the forces by Russia since militant leader Denis Pushilin announced that they aren't held to the deal and won't relinquish hold on the buildings. Pushilin said that the Ukrainian government will need to resign to get the pro-Russian forces to leave the buildings.

VOA also notes that despite the deal, many in the West are still skeptical that Russia will actually go through with it. Psaki said that the U.S. is under no illusions that they can just trust Russia and will be watching to see if the country will be true to its word.

Psaki told reporters, "We are coordinating now with our European allies. My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don't think given past performance that we can count on that."



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