US slams Russia's move to recognize Ukraine rebel documents

United States Vice President Mike Pence, right, shakes hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, as Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko looks on, centre, during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. America's commitment to NATO is "unwavering," Pence said Saturday, reassuring allies about the direction the Trump administration might take but leaving open questions about where Washington saw its relationship with the European Union and other international organizations. (Mykola Lazarenko/Presidential Press Service Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW — The United States says it is disturbed by Russia's decision to recognize passports and other documents issued by rebel authorities in eastern Ukraine.

The recognition, in an order signed by President Vladimir Putin that was announced Saturday, "is alarming and contradicts the agreed-upon goals of the Minsk Agreement," the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said Sunday on Twitter, referring to a two-year-old agreement on ending the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Russia was a signatory of the agreement.

More than 9,800 people have been killed in fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

President Donald Trump's repeated statements on improving relations with Russia had led to speculation that Washington would soften its stance on Russia's interference in Ukraine.

People also read these

Diplomat's defection poses major PR problem for...

Aug 18, 2016

The defection of a North Korean senior diplomat in London poses a major problem for Pyongyang on a...

Indonesia prisoner makes first public appearance...

Aug 18, 2016

An Indonesian held for nearly 10 years at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has...

Taking heat, US officials defend $400M cash...

Aug 19, 2016

The Obama administration defends its decision to make a $400 million cash delivery to Iran...

China, Myanmar vow closer ties as Suu Kyi visits...

Aug 20, 2016

China and Myanmar have pledged to forge closer ties as "blood brothers," as Myanmar leader Aung San...

Prisoner not seen publicly since 2002 at Gitmo...

Aug 23, 2016

A Palestinian not seen publicly since his capture by the CIA in 2002 has appeared at a U.S....