The United States welcomes the implementation of an agreement on the exchange of detainees during the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert has said in a press statement.
"The United States welcomes December 27 exchange between the government of Ukraine and Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine of more than 300 detainees. This exchange is one step toward implementation of the Minsk agreements," reads the statement posted on the website of the Department of State on December 27.
It also says that Washington calls on the sides to fully implement their Minsk commitments, including through a true "all-for-all" detainee exchange; a full ceasefire; the withdrawal of heavy weapons; safe and secure access for OSCE Special Monitoring Mission monitors; and humanitarian access to the conflict zone.
"Russia, which started this conflict and perpetuates it through active leadership of military units on the ground that attack Ukrainian positions daily, must commit to bring it to an end," reads the statement.
The State Department also said that the United States is ready, in coordination with France, Germany, and Ukraine, to engage with Russia in support of the Minsk agreements to achieve an end to the conflict, including "through a peacekeeping force with a broad mandate for safety and security across the entire conflict zone, control of the international border, and responsibility for ensuring the cantonment of heavy weapons."