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UN urges immediate halt to hostilities in eastern Ukraine

February 01, 2017, 1:00 UTC+3

A UN spokesman called clashes on the line of contact in Donbass "a direct violation of the Minsk Agreements"

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UN headquarters

UN headquarters

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, February1./TASS/. The United Nations urges the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine to immediately halt any hostilities and renew efforts towards a peaceful settlement, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric has told TASS.

He called clashes on the line of contact in Donbass "a direct violation of the Minsk Agreements".

"We call on all parties to immediately halt all hostilities, fully observe the ceasefire, allow immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected population, facilitate full and safe access to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to report on the situation on the ground, and renew efforts towards the peaceful settlement of the conflict," the UN spokesman said.

Stephane Dujarric said the UN is "deeply concerned about the escalation of fighting in the Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk area in eastern Ukraine, which has reportedly led to a number of casualties in recent days".

"The fate of civilians caught in the conflict zones is particularly worrying. The increased violence is a direct violation of the Minsk Agreement," he told TASS.

The spokesman said "the UN strongly supports the efforts of the OSCE Chairmanship, the Normandy Four and other relevant actors in that context".

The number of armed clashes in the area of Avdeevka and Yasinovataya has grown sharply in the past two days. The official Ukrainian authorities have accused militias of escalating the situation, while Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has said demonstratively that he had to cut short his visit to Germany, although the program of the visit had been already exhausted by that time.

Meanwhile, according the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Kiev troops launched an attack on the republic on Sunday evening, but were rebuffed and had to return to their positions.

The UN Security Council meets on Tuesday behind closed doors to look into growing tensions in eastern Ukraine.

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