Russia could end the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine tomorrow, but the Kremlin chooses to fuel the conflict, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Courtney Austrian has said.

“This month marks the beginning of the eighth year of Russian hostilities toward its sovereign neighbor. Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine has resulted in more than 13,000 people killed and more than 1.4 million forced from their homes. The participating States of this Permanent Council and the international community have overwhelmingly and consistently condemned Russia for its violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, yet Moscow continues to pursue aggression in the Donbas,” she said.

The diplomat added that at the same time, Russian families endure the loss of loved ones in a pointless conflict in eastern Ukraine. “Our Russian colleagues consistently deny their country’s role in the conflict. Repeating a lie does not make it true. Russia continues to obstruct the peace process, including in the Trilateral Contact Group.