"In my discussions with Russian leadership [I said] on more than one occasion that it is necessary for Russia to take the first steps to de-escalate the situation in the east part of Ukraine, in particular by respecting the cease-fire, by pulling back the heavy weapons, and allowing the OSCE observers to carry out their responsibilities," he said.
Tillerson added it was necessary for the United States "to make any movement" in settling the situation in the Donbas.
"We are disappointed by the lack of progress under the Minsk agreement, and that is why we are appointing a special representative to put additional emphasis. We will be coordinating carefully with the Normandy members as well along with yourself and with the Russian Federation Government to see if we cannot make progress and make progress in a more prompt fashion as well.
"We do call on Russia to honor its commitments that were made under the Minsk accords and to exercise influence over the separatists in the region whom they do hold complete control over, and we call on them, again, to immediately call on their proxies to cease the violence that is ongoing in east Ukraine. Again, we call on them to allow the monitors full access to all areas to perform their mission not only along the line of contact but ultimately along the border itself," Tillerson said.
"I think it is important to be very clear on what our goals are, the United States' goals are, with respect to the situation here. And first and foremost, it is to restore Ukraine's territorial sovereignty and integrity.... We also think it's very important that we seek the safety and the security of all Ukrainian citizens regardless of their ethnicity, their nationality, or their religion," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Ukraine on July 9.