Russia bears responsibility for all those killed in Donbas – U.S. at OSCE
Russia bears responsibility for those slain and maimed in a conflict they foment and fuel in eastern Ukraine.
Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Courtney Austrian said this at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, February 11, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“We track closely reports of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine. Last week saw a short period of relative quiet again shattered by a spike to 349 violations recorded between February 5 and 7. Thankfully, civilian casualties in 2021 are lower than at this time last year, but more can and should be done. In the past week alone at least two Ukrainian Armed Forces service members were killed by IEDs with multiple more wounded. Russia bears responsibility for those slain and maimed in a conflict they foment and fuel,” she said.
The American diplomat added that the increase in fighting over the past weekend in Donbas showed that “Russia is able to dial up the violence in Ukraine whenever it so chooses.”
“This is a stark reminder Russia is in control of the conflict in Ukraine. It also underscores the necessity to fulfill the Minsk agreements, starting with Russia’s withdrawal of its military equipment and ending support for armed formations, proxies, and other groups,” Courtney Austrian said.
She called on Russia to demonstrate political will in negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas.
“If we hope to see any real progress toward a peaceful and sustainable resolution to this conflict, Russia must cease its futile efforts to deny its role in the conflict and reciprocate the political will demonstrated by Kyiv. Only when Russia does so there can be progress on goals the Normandy leaders outlined at their 2019 Summit,” she summed up.
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