NATO urges Russia to ‘withdraw all its forces’ from eastern Ukraine
NATO on Wednesday urged Russia to withdraw all forces from eastern Ukraine and to stop its support for separatists as a ceasefire appeared to unravel.
“I urge Russia to withdraw all its forces from eastern Ukraine, to stop all its support for the separatists and to respect the Minsk agreement,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in the Latvian capital Riga.
“The ceasefire has not been respected,” Stoltenberg said, saying the situation in eastern Ukraine was “deteriorating”.
“Russian forces, artillery and air defence units as well as command and control elements are still active in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said, adding that “there has been a steady buildup of tanks and armoured vehicles across the border from Russia to Ukraine.”
“What really matters now is implementation of the ceasefire, implementation of the Minsk agreements… I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in and around Debaltseve.
“The refusal of the separatists to respect the ceasefire threatens the agreement as does the denial of access to the area for OSCE monitors.”