She didn’t come empty-handed.
But as US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland delivered monitoring and other equipment to border guards in Ukraine on Wednesday, she warned that the fragile ceasefire in the east must be respected.
The trucks, binoculars, thermal vision devices, drones and other non-lethal equipment were the first part of a package worth almost 8 million euros being provided by Washington.
In place since September, the truce was agreed by envoys from Kyiv, Moscow, pro-Russian separatists and Europe’s OSCE security watchdog.
“The OSCE is a civilian monitoring mission. It is not a military mission,” Nuland said while visiting Ukraine’s Border Guard Service in Bortnichi in the Kyiv area.
“Therefore it can only work in conditions of peace. So it has been able to work in those parts of the special status zone were there is peace but where they are most needed, where the shooting is still continuing, they are not able to work – which is why we joined President Poroshenko in insisting that the ceasefire be honoured in full, particularly at the Donetsk airport, Debaltseve, Schasttya and also that there be equal attention given to the international border, the Ukraine-Russia border.”
Kyiv accuses Moscow of sending troops and arms across the border in support of pro-Russian rebels – something the Kremlin denies.
Our correspondent in Bortnichi, Maria Korenyuk, says the equipment handed over by the US will be delivered to the frontline immediately. What is more, by the end of the year, Washington will provide Ukrainian soldiers with another 50 armoured off-road vehicles and thousands of bullet-proof vests.
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