Important ceasefire agreement, but implementation is crucial

‘The fact that the parties to the Ukraine conflict have agreed on a ceasefire is a positive and important step forward. It is now crucial that they meet their commitments and implement the ceasefire,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which is made up of representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, Ukraine, and separatists from the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, have signed a 13-point plan for implementing the Minsk Protocol of 5 September last year. Leaders from Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, who were present in Minsk, have expressed their support for this plan in a joint statement. 

‘The parties demonstrated willingness to find a political solution at the Minsk summit. It is important that this process continues. Germany and France have shown strong leadership in their diplomatic efforts. It is decisive that the parties now translate the agreement reached at the Minsk summit into action,’ said Mr Brende. 

The conflict in Ukraine has developed into a serious humanitarian crisis. More than 5000 people have been killed and 11.000 wounded. According to the UN, more than one million people are displaced within Ukraine and more than half a million have fled the country. 

‘It is our hope that a ceasefire and greater access for humanitarian organisations will create better conditions for the civilian population. It is crucial that Russia respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, complies with international law, and stops sending arms and soldiers to Donbass,’ said Mr Brende.