The US has strongly condemned what it calls Russia’s ‘‘agreesive actions’‘ in eastern Ukraine.
It follows a recent surge in violence in the country.
In her maiden speech to the United Nations, new US Ambassador Nikki Haley blamed Moscow for the increased fighting in the region.
She also warned the Kremlin that sanctions would not be lifted until Crimea is returned to Kiev.
“We do want to better our relations with Russia, however the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions. The sudden increase in fighting in eastern Ukraine has trapped thousands of civilians and destroyed vital infrastructure and the crisis is spreading, endangering many thousands more. This escalation of violence must stop,” Haley said.
Earlier this week, monitors reported more than 10,000 explosions in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region in a 24-hour period, the highest number ever recorded.
Haley’s comments are the Trump administration’s first major rebuke to Moscow. President Trump has previously expressed a wish for improved relations with Russia and his admiration for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.