The situation in Donbass has deteriorated sharply in recent days. Ukrainian troops continue to conduct offensive operations to seize positions held by self-defence forces, including in the suburbs of Donetsk. Heavy weapons, including heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, are being actively used to shell residential areas. According to Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, such weapons should long since have been withdrawn from the contact line. There are casualties and wounded among the civilian population. As a result of the shelling by Ukrainian troops, the Donetsk Filtration Station and the Avdeyevka Coke Chemical Plant have lost power. The lives of miners working in the mines are under threat.
We see southeastern Ukraine, which is already suffering from the economic blockade imposed by Kiev, again on the verge of a real humanitarian and environmental disaster.
All of this is a direct outcome of ongoing violations by Ukraine of its obligations under the Minsk agreements, which no one in Kiev intends to act on. Instead of efforts to achieve sustainable peace, the Ukrainian authorities are trying hard to achieve a military solution to the conflict. Everyone should remember what kind of outcome this kind of reckless behaviour has led to on previous occasions.
Strangely enough, every escalation of the situation in Donbass comes at a time when the Ukrainian leadership is away on a foreign trip. Clearly, this is an attempt to keep the crisis provoked by Kiev on the international agenda.
We urge the Ukrainian authorities to immediately put an end to the armed provocations in Donbass, comply with existing ceasefire agreements and begin, at long last, to responsibly fulfil all the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures, including those relating to the political aspects of the existing problems.
We expect Ukraine’s partners to exert the necessary influence on Kiev to put an end to these efforts to turn the tables in Donbass and sink the Minsk agreements.
We expect a quick response on the part of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in order to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible.