The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany on Tuesday called for a ceasefire deal to be strictly implemented in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has persisted since the accord came into effect.

In a joint statement read by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius after talks in Paris, the minister urged parties to “start with a total ceasefire and complete withdrawal of heavy weapons”.

The meeting focused on the situation in the town of Debaltseve, seized by pro-Russian rebels last week in defiance of the ceasefire meant to start February 15, as well as fresh attacks on the port city of Mariupol.

“Unfortunately there was no political agreement on how to condemn what happened in Debaltseve,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

“We were able to agree on technical aspects like how to support the OSCE mission and to strengthen its capabilities.”

Fabius said the ministers called for a reinforcement of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission which is tasked with monitoring the ceasefire.

“We call for the extension of its mandate with supplementary staff, equipment and financing,” he said.

The joint statement called for all parties to allow the monitors complete access to areas under their control and cooperate with them so they “verify the withdrawal of heavy weapons.”

 

AFP

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