Conflict in Eastern Ukraine: Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany

30.03.2020 - Press release

While the COVID pandemic represents a historic challenge to the international community, we must remain actively engaged in our endeavor to put an end to ongoing violent conflicts. With a view to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine France and Germany call on all sides to assume their responsibility in the face of major threats to human health.

We call on all sides of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine to implement the appeal of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres for a global ceasefire in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

France and Germany are deeply concerned by the restrictions imposed in non-government controlled areas by members of the armed formations on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission since 21 March 2020. The outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic should not be used as a pretext to restrict the freedom of movement of the mission and impede the implementation of its mandate. The Special Monitoring Mission must have safe, secure and unhindered access throughout Ukraine, including in non-government controlled areas. Russia has to use its influence and ensure free and safe passage.

In addition, France and Germany call for lifting all restrictions to access to non-government controlled areas for UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. ICRC must have full and unimpeded access to conflict-related detainees in non-government controlled areas, in accordance with the conclusions of the last Summit of Heads and State and Government of the Normandy Format.

France and Germany welcome the resumption of activities of the Donetsk Filtration Station, ensuring water supplies for hundreds of thousands of people. They call on all sides to take all necessary steps to guarantee safe working conditions for the staff of all critical infrastructures, so that the continuity of their activities is ensured.

We recall the sides to implement the common conclusions of the last Summit of the Normandy Format (9 December 2019), in particular concerning still outstanding agreements on additional crossing points, disengagement areas, demining actions and a further exchange of detainees.

France and Germany continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We remain committed towards a sustainable and peaceful resolution of the conflict through the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.


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