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Federal Foreign Office on the situation in eastern Ukraine

21.07.2017

A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson commented today (21 July) on the situation in eastern Ukraine:

Worrying reports are reaching us from eastern Ukraine – not for the first time, unfortunately. The agreed ceasefire is not holding. We are still seeing numerous instances of weapons being used along the contact line.

Every day further victims are claimed in eastern Ukraine, both from the two parties to the conflict and from the civilian population. With 14 Ukrainian soldiers killed and 13 injured, the fighting has claimed a particularly high number of victims in recent days. Similar casualty figures can be assumed on the separatists’ side. At the Normandy format meetings, both sides – Moscow and Kyiv – have pledged on several occasions to use their influence to ensure that the agreements on a ceasefire and on the withdrawal of heavy weapons are at last implemented.

We have seen several attempts at this, most recently with a ceasefire for the harvest season in place since 24 June. After a brief calming of hostilities, we have to say that it appears as though the parties to the conflict lack the will to ensure a lasting ceasefire.

We urgently call on all parties to implement the agreements reached immediately. Otherwise they are risking an escalation of the military conflict, many more deaths and a complete halt in the political process.

Lip-service will not get us anywhere. Even the most intensive negotiation endeavours come to nothing if the political will to implement agreements is lacking. What eastern Ukraine needs, at long last, is visible progress towards peace.

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