EU says Ukraine fighting 'most serious violation' of Feb truce
The EU said Thursday that major new clashes in Ukraine were the "most serious" breach of a February truce and could lead to a new spiral of violence between government forces and pro-Russian rebels.
The warring sides said at least 24 people have died in the renewed fighting in the east as Russia and Ukraine accused each other of seeking to torpedo the ceasefire signed in Minsk.
"The violent fighting in Maryinka near Donetsk in the east of Ukraine constitutes the most serious violation of the ceasefire arising from the Minsk accords in February," European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.
She said the it followed the movement of a "large quantity of heavy weapons towards the line of contact" by separatist rebels that was reported by observers from the OSCE.
"The ceasefire needs to be fully respected and all heavy arms withdrawn," in line with the Minsk accord, Kocijancic said.
"The renewed intensive fighting is likely to create a new spiral of violence and suffering," the spokeswoman said.
Kiev on Wednesday accused pro-Russian forces of launching a large-scale attack on the settlement of Maryinka, west of the rebel stronghold Donetsk, in breach of the fragile truce brokered by the West.
© 2015 AFP