Berlin voices 'concern' over Ukraine truce violations

23rd February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Germany voiced concern Monday that a "comprehensive" truce had not yet taken hold in eastern Ukraine and urged Moscow to exert influence on pro-Russian separatists to stop the fighting.

"It fills us with concern that there is still no comprehensive truce," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert, adding that Berlin called on Moscow "to again urgently bring to bear its influence on the separatists".

He said it was "worrying... since such a truce is the prerequisite for the start of the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the condition for monitoring by OSCE (Organization for Security and Co?operation in Europe) observers".

Despite the ceasefire agreed in the Belarussian capital over a week ago, rebels launched an assault on the strategic town of Debaltseve last week and pro-Russian forces have now massed near the port city of Mariupol.

Seibert said the implementation of the ceasefire accord which Germany helped broker had been "unsatisfactory" despite developments in recent days that were "partly positive, partly unfortunately negative too".

He pointed to an agreement on a plan to withdraw heavy weapons and a prisoner swap, but condemned a deadly bomb blast Sunday in the eastern city of Kharkiv during a pro-Kiev march.

© 2015 AFP

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