Russia is surprised that the United States continues to interlink bilateral military contacts with the Ukrainian crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.




“The stubborn linking of bilateral military contacts with the Ukrainian crisis cannot but cause surprise,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.


Moscow has noted that the 2017 defense authorization act signed by US President Barack Obama on Sunday maintains restrictions on Russian-US military-to-military cooperation until Russia “ceased its occupation of Ukrainian territory” and abided by the Minsk agreements on conflict settlement, the ministry said.


“It is time for US partners to admit the obvious: the Crimean population’s return to Russia and the current dismal state of affairs in Ukraine are the the consequence not of the mythical ‘Russian aggression,’ but a direct result of the coup in Kiev nearly three years ago, whose ideologist and curator was the current US administration,” Zakharova stressed.