Tillerson noted that “when you invade another country and take their territory, we cannot – that cannot be left to stand.”
“And that is the basis for the very stringent sanctions regime that the U.S. and Europe imposed on Russia as a result of that invasion, and that regime will not change until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is resolved and Ukraine’s territorial integrity is returned,” Tillerson said.
He stressed that at the moment, the U.S. is “engaged in attempting to break the logjam for east Ukraine to implement the Minsk accords.”
The U.S. top diplomat said that “our priority is to end the violence, stop the killing that’s going on in east Ukraine, and we are working with Russia to see if we can come to some agreement on the mandate for a UN peacekeeping force that will bring this violence to an end.”
"“We will return to the issue of Crimea. I know that President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin’s made it clear that that’s not on the table for discussion. It will be at some point. But today, we want to stop the violence in east Ukraine,” he concluded.