U.S. Special Representative on Ukraine Kurt Volker during a meeting with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said he thinks resuming pension payments to residents of areas controlled by Russian occupation forces in eastern Ukraine, as well as restoring mobile telephone communications, will help in during talks scheduled with Russian representatives, Rada human rights committee chairman and MP (Batkivschyna Party) Hryhoriy Nemyria has said. “Volker supported the position that defending human rights of persons living in areas controlled by Russian occupation forces is part of the solution to the problem, rather than a part of the problem. He supported my position and the position of the human rights committee on steps to pay pensions, restore communication and other steps because this will help him in his dialogue and talks with the Russian side”, Nemyria told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
U.S. Ambassador Kurt Volker, the Trump administration’s special envoy charged with ending the war in Ukraine, says that his recent meeting with Vladislav Surkov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Belgrade on November 13 on a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas, was a “step back,” according to the U.S. edition of the POLITICO magazine. “Our third meeting was a step back,” Volker told POLITICO. “They went back to their original proposal again. I don’t know what the next step after this is. It could be that that happened for completely other reasons having nothing to do with Ukraine, just where we are in our U.S.-Russian relationship. It could have had to do with the lack of a bilateral meeting between President Putin and President Trump.” Volker recalled that Moscow had proposed deploying a UN mission to protect OSCE monitors in Donbas. Washington, in turn, said that peacekeepers should monitor the ceasefire throughout the entire area – from the contact line to the Ukrainian-Russian border stretch between Russia and the self-proclaimed republics.