Ukraine – Increase in tensions in the eastern part of the country (February 1, 2017)

France strongly condemns the resumption of fighting that has resulted in several casualties over the last few days in eastern Ukraine, notably in Avdiivka.

We call on all parties to exercise restraint and on Russia in particular to bring its influence to bear on the separatists.

We call for the immediate implementation of the ceasefire provided for by the Minsk Agreements.

As we reaffirmed together with our German partner yesterday at the OSCE, we support the efforts of the OSCE Observation Mission and the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) regarding ceasefire issues aimed at de-escalating the situation as swiftly as possible. We call on the JCCC to guarantee the safety of the OSCE observers and ensure their access to Avdiivka as well as all areas covered by the mandate.

France is also extremely concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine. We urge the parties to ensure access by the civilian populations to water and electricity.

The only way to resolve the conflict is through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, to which France remains fully committed within the framework of the “Normandy format.”

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