"So far there have been no clear steps made by Russia to influence the situation. On the contrary, the situation there is becoming even more critical. The OSCE has published data on the presence of Russian heavy weapons in the conflict zone," Tefft said.
According to Tefft, the sanctions have had a "very serious impact" on the Russian economy and their effect only keeps growing. "Sanctions harm Russia, but counter sanctions imposed by the Russian authorities are no less destructive. In my personal opinion they harm ordinary Russian citizens much more than the sanctions of other countries," he added.
The ambassador also expressed no doubt that the Donbas will remain a part of Ukraine. "Everyone wants to live in a world where the international law and the rule of law are respected. I read an interview with Henry Kissinger in which he criticized the sanctions, but at the same time, he made it absolutely clear that you cannot "cut away" a piece of other country with impunity, no matter for what reason," John Tefft stated.
John Tefft was appointed ambassador to Russia this summer. Before that, he was ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania.