Grave concern over renewed fighting in Ukraine

‘The renewed fighting in Ukraine gives cause for grave concern,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

On Wednesday, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reported that rebel forces in the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled areas had moved a large amount of heavy weapons towards the contact line, and that an attack on Ukrainian government forces had been launched near the town of Marinka. 

Under the ceasefire agreement entered into by the parties, all heavy weapons were to be withdrawn from the contact line. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian authorities sent a letter to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, stating that Ukraine would place heavy weapons on the contact line in order to deal with the “real threat” posed by the fighting in Marinka. 

‘Wednesday’s events show how important the observers’ work is. It is crucial that all parties respect and implement the Minsk agreement,’ said Mr Brende. 

Russian spokesmen have today claimed that Ukraine provoked the attack, allegedly in an attempt to make the EU step up its economic sanctions against Russia. 

‘The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has established who launched the attack, and the attack by the rebels must be condemned. The Russian statements are clearly contrary to the OSCE observers’ report, and thus give the impression that Russia is deliberately seeking to spread untruths,’ said Mr Brende.