NATO comments on events in Crimea
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has said it has been monitoring with concern a rise in tensions between Russia and Ukraine and urges Moscow to work towards de-escalation of the situation, an UNIAN correspondent in Brussels reported referring to NATO statement.
"We are monitoring closely and with concern the heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine," the statement read.
"We are reassured by Ukraine's resolute condemnation of terrorism in all its shapes and forms. We note that Ukraine has strongly rejected Russia's accusations, and made clear that Kyiv is devoted to restoring its territorial integrity exclusively through political and diplomatic means. We further note that Russia has not provided any tangible evidence for its accusations against Ukraine," as noted in the statement.
At this, NATO points out that Russia's recent military activity in Crimea is not helpful for easing tensions.
"We call on Russia to work for calm and de-escalation. We are also deeply concerned by the recent upsurge in violence in eastern Ukraine, and the increase in ceasefire violations along the line of contact, primarily by the Russian-backed militants," NATO said.
In this context, NATO has urged all parties to return to the negotiating table and work towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine by diplomatic and peaceful means.
The full implementation of the Minsk Agreements is key, NATO emphasized.
"As we restated at the Warsaw Summit, Allies stand united in their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on Russia to reverse its illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea," NATO summed up.