International community should maintain pressure on Russia until full Minsk implementation – Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the international community should continue to put pressure on Russia until Moscow fully implements Minsk agreements, an UNIAN correspondent reported from Stoltenberg’s press conference in Brussels, following a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
"I call on all parties to redouble their efforts to implement the Minsk Agreements in full. As a first step, we need to see an immediate and full ceasefire. In the meantime, the international community must keep pressuring Russia to respect its obligations. Especially while the security situation in eastern Ukraine remains so serious, it is important that economic sanctions be maintained," said Stoltenberg.
"Russia has a significant responsibility in bringing the conflict to an end," said Stoltenberg.
The NATO secretary general said the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission underscored NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine
Noting that the security situation remains serious in Donbas, Stoltenberg said: "Last month saw massive increase in ceasefire violations and they continue, with hundreds of explosions caused every day by equipment banned under the Minsk Agreements. Heavy weaponry has not been withdrawn and only 13 percent of the heavy weaponry registered with the OSCE can be currently traced."
Read alsoNATO, EU to join efforts in countering hybrid threatsMoreover, he said that the Russian-backed militants continue to “restrict the free movement of OSCE monitors”, while some monitors “have even become targets themselves”.
“So this just illustrates the seriousness of the situation in eastern Ukraine,” he said.
Stoltenberg emphasized that during the meeting, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin had “reconfirmed Ukraine’s commitment to the Minsk Agreements”.
Read alsoKerry: Allies to affirm support for Ukraine's sovereignty at NATO-Ukraine Commission“As Ukraine continues on its reform path, NATO and NATO Allies will continue to provide strong practical and political support. For Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for its efforts to build a better future for all Ukrainians,” Stoltenberg concluded.