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.