U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said this at a briefing in the town of Slovyansk on May 15, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
"There is no ethnic or civil conflict between Ukrainians in Donbas. The conflict has been created by Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine," Volker said.
Russia directly guides the military forces in this region and has a decisive political influence on the leaders of the occupied territories, the diplomat noted.
According to Volker, the United States and Europe have made great efforts at the political level to overcome the conflict and achieve peace in Donbas.
"We want the peaceful life to return to this region. It’s a tragedy that the conflict is still ongoing. Russia says it protects Russian speakers. However, the best way to protect the Russian speakers would be to withdraw Russian troops from here and let Ukraine regain control over these territories,” the U.S. Special Representative emphasized.