Alarmed by escalation of conflict in Ukraine, Ban calls on parties to resume dialogue
17 August 2015 – Seriously alarmed by the recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, which has reportedly resulted in the death of civilians on both sides of the contact line, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called all parties to end hostilities and resume talks.
“[The Secretary-General] calls on all sides to continue with dialogue and to fully abide by the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements, including as related to the use of heavy weapons. Continued cease-fire violations and the resulting loss of life are unacceptable,” said a statement issued by the Office of the UN Spokesperson.
Aware of reports of harassment aimed at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Mr. Ban expects all parties to fully respect the role of its personnel and facilities, adds the statement.
“He also calls on all sides to take urgent steps to de-escalate the current situation and prevent a spiral of violence that will lead to more deaths, human suffering and destruction of infrastructure and negatively affect regional stability.”
They are equally asked to provide unrestricted and unconditional access for critical humanitarian assistance, and freedom of movement for civilians throughout the country, “in order to address a deteriorating humanitarian situation.”
In late February 2014, the situation in Ukraine transcended what was initially seen as an internal Ukrainian political crisis into violent clashes in parts of the country, later reaching full-scale conflict in the east. Nevertheless, despite a September 2014 cease-fire agreed in Minsk, the fighting has since continuously deteriorated, with serious consequences for the country’s unity, territorial integrity and stability.
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