A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (15 December):
We condemn the use of heavy weapons, including the incident in the early hours of 13 December in Popasna (Luhansk region), which endangered lives, also those of seven members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The stationing of artillery in inhabited areas of eastern Ukraine puts the local civilian population at huge risk.
Under the mandate approved by all 57 OSCE participating States, all sides are obligated to ensure the OSCE monitors’ safety and to guarantee them unhindered access.
We are deeply concerned about the renewed increase in fighting in eastern Ukraine. Every day claims victims from both the civil population and the parties to the conflict. December alone has seen 17 dead and 37 injured so far.
Germany is engaged along with France, in the Normandy format, in working for the resolution of the conflict. We urgently appeal to all sides at the next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on 20 December to reaffirm the ceasefire and take the necessary steps to stabilise it.