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U.S. Diplomat In Moscow For Ukraine Talks

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has discussed the implementation of the Minsk cease-fire agreement for eastern Ukraine with Russian officials.

"We want to see Minsk implemented as soon as possible, and we think that it is now time to really step on the gas and see this implemented," Nuland told reporters in Moscow on May 18 after talks with Russian presidential adviser Vladislav Surkov.

"As our president has said, if and when Minsk is fully implemented, sanctions can be rolled back," she added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the talks as a "brief exchange of opinions."

Nuland said she also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

The Minsk deal signed in February 2015 has helped reduce fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, but sporadic clashes have continued.

The conflict has killed more than 9,300 people since April 2014.

Based on reporting by AP, Interfax, and TASS