US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said that Ukraine had the right to open fire on its territory. He noted this in the interview to Bild agency commenting on the OSCE SMM reports stating that both militants and Ukrainian Armed Forces were shelling in Donbas conflict area.
“Of course, Ukrainians are also shooting, but you should keep in mind that all this is happening on the territory of Ukraine. It is absolutely normal for a country to have its soldiers. And it is not normal for one country to have its soldiers in another country. Such situation is now in Eastern Ukraine. There are ceasefire violations on the Ukrainian side as well. However, the overwhelming majority of violations happen on the occupied by Russia territory,” he said.
At the same time, Volker explained that one should also count the differences in the ceasefire violations.
“Don’t forget that OSCE considers ceasefire a violation. If you defend a village in your country and you come under a mortar shelling, it’s one kind of violation. If after that you shell in the direction of the attack, it’s also a violation. This is a nature of the phrase “two sides.” This is accurate enough, but it also distorts the nature of the problem,” Volker added.
As it was reported earlier, On June 29, US President Donald Trump, answering the question of journalists, is he ready to reconsider the US position on the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, said: "We are going see." This caused a wave of speculation in the media about whether Washington plans to recognize the occupied peninsula as a Russian territory.
Kurt Volker said the statements about the possibility of recognizing Crimea as Russian territory by the United States are too hasty. He noted that the American media, which spread such assumptions, misinterpreted the events.
"I think the American media hurried with the story of the possibility of recognizing the annexation of Crimea. The White House further spoke very clearly: John Bolton, US National Security Advisor and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders clarified that the United States does not plan to recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea. We should understand such American position," Volker explained.
He also stressed that the United States fully supports Ukraine in the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as peace, especially in the eastern regions.