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Belarus leader says responsibility for Donbass crisis lies with Ukraine's president

February 03, 17:28 UTC+3 MISNK

The Contact Group for settlement in eastern Ukraine at the meeting in Minsk on Wednesday called to ensure ceasefire in Donbass and pull back all weapons and military hardware along the contact line

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Aftermath of the shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

Aftermath of the shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

© AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko

MISNK, February 3. /TASS/. Responsibility for crisis in eastern Ukraine rests with the country’s President Pyotr Poroshenko, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said at the meeting with the public and journalists on Friday.

"The responsibility primarily lies with the president of the country where the war is underway," Lukashenko said when asked about the causes of the latest escalation in Ukraine’s Avdeyevka.

"I don’t want to reproach Pyotr Poroshenko here, we have good relations. But I always say: no matter how the situation develops, you will be still accused of this as you are the country’s president," Lukashenko said.

The situation near the contact line in Donbass sharply deteriorated over the past days and there are casualties among servicemen and civilians. Three civilians died and 13 others were wounded in the overnight shelling of Donetsk carried out by the Kiev forces, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The deaths have been also reported in Avdeyevka.

The UN Security Council expressed grave concern earlier this week over the "dangerous deterioration" of the situation in eastern Ukraine and its severe impact on the local civilian population and called for an immediate return to ceasefire. The UNSC members condemned the use of weapons banned under the February 2015 Minsk peace deal.

The Contact Group for settlement in eastern Ukraine at the meeting in Minsk on Wednesday called to ensure ceasefire in Donbass and pull back all weapons and military hardware along the contact line to the storage facilities by February 5.

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