U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday during a visit to Ukraine that Russia is “seeking to redraw international borders by force” and that U.S. sanctions against Russia will remain in place until the government in Moscow changes its behavior.
Mattis spoke alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after a meeting with him and other leaders in Kyiv.
The Pentagon chief reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine, and said it does not accept Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
He also said Russia has not lived up to its commitments in the Minsk Agreement to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as other deals the country has endorsed.
“The U.S. and our allies will continue to press Russia to honor its Minsk commitments and our sanctions will remain in place until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered them,” Mattis said.
He added that the U.S. remains committed to finding a diplomatic resolution to the situation in Ukraine.