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Iran Press TV

European Union outraged over 'Ukraine ceasefire breach'

Iran Press TV

Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:26PM

The European Union has strongly condemned what it refers to as the breach of an internationally-backed ceasefire in the strategic city of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, issued a statement, alleging that the actions by the pro-Russians in Debaltseve "are a clear violation of the ceasefire," adding that the pro-Russia forces "must stop all military activities."

Some Ukrainian troops have retreated from the city, which has been besieged by the pro-Russians.

The pro-Russia fighters said they have the city under their control and offered the Ukrainian military forces a chance to give in.

Battle for Debaltseve

The two warring sides, pro-Russians and Ukraine's army, have been fighting for the city for weeks now.

Debaltseve connects Donetsk and Lugansk, the strongholds of the pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine.

Mogherini said the EU "stands ready to take appropriate action in case the fighting and other negative developments in violation of the Minsk agreements continue."

Marathon talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk led to the conclusion of an agreement between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany on February 12 to end the nearly-year-long conflict.

Under the deal, heavy weapons are also to be withdrawn from the frontlines of the conflict.

Both cities of Donetsk and Lugansk have been hit by deadly clashes between the pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

The situation in the two flashpoint cities started to worsen on May 11, 2014, when residents overwhelmingly voted in referendums for independence from Ukraine and joining Russia.

Nearly 5,700 people have been killed and close to a million displaced since the armed conflict began in eastern Ukraine.

HN/HSN/SS



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