WASHINGTON, March 13. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has accused Russia of using energy reserves to put political pressure on Ukraine.
"We all know the story in Russia. It invaded Ukraine to get access to oil and gas reserves. It, in turn, deprived Ukraine of the possibility to develop these resources for itself and using its pipelines and its networks to bring energy to its own people. Rather, it uses those pipelines to put pressure - political pressure - on the people of Ukraine," the US top diplomat told the CERA Energy Week’s "Reshaping the Energy Future" conference in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday.
Ukraine has not purchased Russian gas since November 2015. Instead it preferred reverse gas supplies from the EU.
After the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk refused to recognize and obey the coup-installed Kiev government. Their citizens held referendums on self-determination, during which the majority of voters supported establishing the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR). Clashes between the Kiev government and Donbass militias that started in April 2014 later evolved into full-scale warfare with the use of heavy armored vehicles and aircraft.