“We congratulate the people of Ukraine on making history today, as the Ukrainian and European parliaments simultaneously ratified Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the European Union,” Marie Harf, Deputy State Department Spokesperson, said in a September 16 statement.
“By forging ahead with this Agreement in the face of great challenges, Ukraine’s leaders have carried out the will of the Ukrainian people, who demonstrated their overwhelming support for further integration with Europe last winter and with their votes in the May 25 presidential elections.
“We also applaud the Ukrainian Parliament’s passage of the laws on Amnesty and Special Status for select parts of Donetsk and Luhansk, which were two important commitments Ukraine made in the Minsk ceasefire agreement on September 5. These new laws highlight the Ukrainian government’s continuing commitment to resolve the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine peacefully,” the statement said.
Harf added: “We call on Russia and the separatists it backs to reciprocate and begin immediate and full implementation of the twelve steps of the ceasefire agreement. Russia must stop its unlawful military intervention in Ukraine, withdraw all military forces and equipment from inside Ukraine and away from its border, end its support for the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, and agree to an effective mechanism to secure and monitor the Ukraine-Russia border.”
“The way is open for peace, but it is now incumbent on Russia and the separatists it supports to honor their ceasefire commitments and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”