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Senior U.S. Diplomat Calls Russia 'Malign Influence' That 'Occupied Ukraine'


Reeker: 'Malign' Russia Invaded, Occupied Ukraine
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WATCH: Reeker -- 'Malign' Russia Invaded, Occupied Ukraine

PRAGUE -- Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker says the citizens of both Russia and Ukraine are "paying a price" for Russia's "malign influence."

In an interview with RFE/RL on October 31, Reeker accused Russia of "keeping a hot war going" in eastern Ukraine and described Russia's activities there as an occupation.

"One of the most obvious places most broadly where the Russian malign influence is seen is in Ukraine, where Russia has invaded a country, has occupied a country, has continued to keep a hot war going in the eastern part of Ukraine," Reeker told RFE/RL. "Thousands of people have died."

Reeker said Russia has "undertaken obligations through the Minsk process to find a way forward" on ending the 5 1/2-year conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

U.S. Diplomat Criticizes '19th-Century View' After EU Snubs North Macedonia, Albania
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WATCH: U.S. Diplomat Criticizes '19th-Century View' After EU Snubs North Macedonia, Albania

But he said Russia has "not lived up to those proposals, [which is] what we want to see happen."

"Russians are paying a price for that, [for] the actions of their government," Reeker said. "But certainly Ukrainians are. And that kind of malign influence is something we don't want to see."

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