UN Security Council calls for immediate end to Ukraine fighting
The UN Security Council urged Tuesday both sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine to "immediately cease hostilities," as fighting raged on despite a ceasefire.
"The Security Council called on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and abide by commitments agreed in Minsk, including facilitating access for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk Agreements," the Council said in a statement.
The UN body expressed particular concern over continued fighting in and around Debaltseve, a key transport hub, between pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine's army, despite a February 15 ceasefire.
At a separate public meeting, the 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted a Russian-drafted resolution calling on all sides to respect the Minsk accords, particularly the ceasefire.
Kiev and the rebels have accused each other of violating the truce. The withdrawal of heavy weapons, which was called for in the Minsk accords, has not taken place.
Kiev and pro-Russian rebels agreed a peace roadmap on February 12 after marathon negotiations in Minsk involving the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.
The plan, which builds on a previous failed protocol forged in Minsk in September, also lays out a roadmap for self-rule in the rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine.
It calls for local elections to be held in the separatist regions, without setting a date.
It also says Ukraine should regain full control of its eastern border, but only after local elections and constitutional reform -- to be adopted by the end of the year.
The text of the resolution expresses "grave concern at the tragic events and violence in eastern regions of Ukraine."
© 2015 AFP