Russia is in full command and control of occupied areas of Ukraine's Donbas, US Special Representative Kurt Volker has said at a briefing in Washington. Volker did not agree with a Russian journalist that there is an "internal strife" in Ukraine.
It’s not an internal strife. It’s not an ethnic conflict; it’s not an indigenous conflict. It is one where on the eastern side you have 100 percent Russian command and control of what’s happening there, and on the Ukrainian side obviously it’s Ukraine, and nothing is decided," he decided.
"There are obviously people hired to work in the military operation, to work in the civilian administration, the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics, people hired to do that. But this is Russian-directed, and so the relevant interlocutor here is Russia," he went on.
"As I said, the decision-maker here is Russia and I think that’s where I need to be dedicating the US effort, is to engaging directly with Russia," he added.
Volker is planning to meet Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov in Belgrade aroun 13 November to discuss Donbas.