Michael Murphy is an American career diplomat, who for more than 25 years in the state Department, including in American embassies in countries emerging from armed conflicts, such as Bosnia. From July of 2017, he holds the position of Director for security Affairs and politico-military Affairs at the state Department. During a recent visit to Ukraine in a blitz-interview LIGA.net Michael Murphy spoke about the American position in the order of implementation of the Minsk agreements and the reforms necessary for NATO integration.

– Appointed in July by the special representative of the US state Department in Ukraine Kurt Volker has developed the vigorous activity on to overcome the stalemate in the Minsk negotiation process. Can we expect that the result of his efforts will be implementation of the Minsk agreements, the Russians withdraw from Eastern Ukraine troops and equipment?

– I think the goal, Kurt Volker, the US goal is the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We are not going to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea, to close their eyes to Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine.

Kurt Volker is doing outstanding work. You will not find anyone with more energy and determination to accomplish the tasks that the President and the Secretary of state has laid on him. And I think it is also important for the United States to play a role here, further supporting the Minsk process.

– As the United States appreciate the “peace initiatives” of Putin?

You know, there’s a vision of Kurt, he was talking about this, that is something to consider and talk with the Russians about this. But you need to seriously analyze everything.

– Russia has always insisted that the political conditions of the Minsk agreement was implemented in the first place. The Ukrainian position is that the provisions on security in the framework of these agreements should be implemented in the first place. What is the position of the United States?

The obstacle for resolving the problems in Ukraine – Russia. The behavior of Russia, the Russian aggression. Implementeret Russia does not Minsk agreement, have created conditions that do not allow OSCE SMM to perform their work. That is, if there are problems with the political part, they are the result of security conditions, the responsibility for which, frankly, is to Russia.

Our policy is quite clear – we support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the special monitoring mission of the OSCE in all areas under its mandate. Our policy will not change – we are not going to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea, we will defend the sovereign rights of Ukraine and the right of Ukrainian citizens to peace and security.

– What is the position of the administration trump on the issue of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine?

– Special envoy Walker talked about it, like many other American representatives. We are considering this issue, it is discussed at the highest level.

– How Ukraine can accelerate the integration into NATO in a situation when we have ongoing military conflict. Does Ukraine enough to rapprochement with the Alliance?

– Ukraine and NATO already have a close relationship. And I want to give you an idea of how the Alliance works: there is the Charter of the NATO-Ukraine, there are six trust funds, there is an annual national plan. … Is the process of partnership planning and review (PARP) has emerged over the last three years.

I can point to four priority areas – national security act, intelligence reform, reform of defence procurement and the Armed Forces more exercise. All of this is important in order to be closer to the Alliance.

And also need reforms outside the defense and intelligence spheres – in the economy and in the fight against corruption. Ukraine is working on this and we need to continue to work on it. And as you build these mechanisms, you will become closer to the Alliance, because it is these reforms of the security services and procurement will make them interoperable with NATO structures. To be closer to NATO is not just the achievement of interoperability, we are talking about the value of integration.

An interview was organized with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and The German Marshall Fund of the United States

See also: David Kramer: Exporting corruption – the main weapon of Putin

Michael Murphy: US will defend the right of Ukrainians to the security 18.11.2017

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