Volker: France and Germany taking 'small steps' in negotiations with Russia, US approaching more ambitiously

In an interview with Voice of America, US State Department Special Representative Kurt Volker said that while the United States is in constant contact with European partners, the US approach to negotiating with Russia regarding the Donbas conflict sometimes differs from the approach taken by Germany and France.

"First of all, I believe that France and Germany are very serious [partners of Ukraine]. I think they very clearly understand the nature of the conflict, and Russia's responsibility, and how events have developed," he said.
According to Volker, the US sometimes differs from Germany and France in its tactical approach to solving the conflict in the Donbas.

"They are trying to move forward in small steps, [and] trying to conduct even negotiations with both sides by taking these small steps. This is their approach and we support it. We also try to be more ambitious in addressing the whole conflict. Russia needs to make a fundamental decision to end the conflict, and if we achieve this, we, I think, will be able to make great progress," the Special Representative explained.

When asked whether the US may join the Normandy Format, Volker expressed the view that this would have to be agreed to by Format partners, including France and Germany.

"But I do not believe that the US should promote itself to this role. We communicate well even without the status of formal partner," the US diplomat stressed.

  Kurt Volker, USA, Russia, Ukraine, Normandy Format