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UN secretary general supports evacuation of civilians from Ukraine's Debaltsevo

Ban Ki-moon noted that this proposal could only be realized through talks in the spirit of good will

UNITED NATIONS, February 5. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday voiced support to OSCE Acting Chairman in Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic’s proposal to declare a temporary truce around the town of Debaltsevo in eastern Ukraine to secure safe evacuation of civilians.

The U.S. Secretary General noted that this proposal could only be realized through talks in the spirit of good will, the U.N. press centre said.

OSCE’s Acting Chairman in Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, came up with a proposal earlier to declare a three-day truce in the Debaltsevo area to evacuate the population still stranded in the city and to resume the peace talks proceeding from humanitarian considerations. He said that the observers on the OSCE mission in Ukraine would assist in effectuating the truce.

On Wednesday, Andrei Kelin, Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in an interview with Rossiya’24 news channel that truce was needed everywhere in southeastern Ukraine and not only around the town of Debaltsevo.

"The appeal /of the OSCE regarding truce in the areas around Debaltsevo - TASS/ is not up to the point because it concerns Debaltsevo only," Kelin said. "In the meantime gunfire is on and combat actions are unfolding along the entire front from the areas to the south of Donetsk through to Lugansk," Kelin said.

"Ceasefire should be established everywhere and only after that attempts can be made to enact a plan for the pullout of heavy armaments - the one that the Contact Group /for peace settlement in southeastern Ukraine - TASS/ is trying to come to terms upon," he said.

The issue of introducing a ceasefire regime was raised by both parties to the conflict. According to a spokesman for the defence ministry of the self-proclaime Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/, Eduard Basurin, DPR had come with an initiative to impose a "regime of silence" arounf the towm of Uglegork but Kiev had advanced an unacceptable proposal.

Meanwhile, civilian population is being evacuated from Debaltsevo and neighbouring localities. Earlier on Wednesday, DPR’s ombudswoman Darya Morozova said militias had evacuated about 600 civilians from the town of Uglegorsk. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said some 2,500 people, including 680 children had been evacuated from Debaltsevo and Avfeyevka.