France and Germany are concerned by the growing number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine, which come after the situation had stabilized since July 2020, says a Joint Statement by the spokespersons for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France and the German Federal Foreign Office on the situation in Ukraine, released on the evening of April 3.
"We are closely monitoring the situation and in particular Russian troop movements, and call on all sides to show restraint and to work towards the immediate de-escalation of tensions," the statement reads.
Read alsoRussia pulling military hardware toward Ukraine border: Videos show covered license plates on trucks (Video)Berlin and Paris have reaffirmed "support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders."
Situation in and around Donbas: Latest
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ruslan Khomchak, said the invaders are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training.
- Russian occupation forces are also keeping alert artillery units in combat readiness for use in certain areas, including in settlements located on the occupied territory of Ukraine.
- The Pentagon said they were aware of the maneuvers of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. The U.S. is discussing the issue with NATO Allies.
- On April 1, the Kremlin commented on the amassing of Russian military forces near Ukraine's borders, saying this "should not bother" anyone.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky says Moscow is trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
- Ukraine's military intelligence agency, GUR MO, has reported that Russia may try to go for an incursion and deploy its troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine.
- On April 1, Roman Mashovets, Deputy Chief of the President's Office, said that Russia is trying to disrupt the peace process. More than 570 ceasefire violations have been recorded since year-start.
- Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has expressed concern over the latest escalation in Donbas, which he calls "largest in recent years", noting Russia's direct involvement in aggravation.
- U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has reassured his Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Andrii Taran, that Washington will not give up on Ukraine in case Russia escalates aggression. The two defense chiefs had a phone call April 1, on the initiative of the American side.
- U.S. President Joe Biden in his first call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky April 2 affirmed the U.S. "unwavering support" for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity "in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression" in Donbas and Crimea.