Russia is an active participant in the war in Ukraine's Donbas / REUTERS

Estonia, the United Kingdom and the United States reiterate Russia is an active participant in the war in Ukraine's Donbas.

In particular, the diplomats drew attention to the fact that Russia held a meeting at the UN on December 2 on what Russia claimed was the status of the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"This meeting was a transparent attempt to present a false and misleading narrative regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We strongly reject Russia's premise that it is acting as a mediator within an internal conflict. Russia is an active participant that trains, arms, and leads armed formations in areas outside of Ukrainian government control, supplementing these proxy forces with military personnel and equipment. It instigated and continues to fuel a conflict which has resulted in approximately 13,000 deaths, appalling human rights abuses, and a deteriorating humanitarian situation for the civilian population," according to a joint press statement on Ukraine by Estonia, the United Kingdom and United States Missions to the UN, posted by the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

Read alsoUkraine takes tougher stand in TCG talks with Russia on Donbas – journalistThe diplomats once again reiterated their support for the Minsk agreements and firm commitment to see the peaceful resolution of the conflict with full respect of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Also, they welcome the steps taken by the Ukrainian government to make progress in resolving the conflict and call on Russia to act likewise.

"We will continue to engage with all initiatives at the UN that support constructive ends. This event, designed purely to distort the realities of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, served Russian interests alone," reads the statement.

Russian occupation of Crimea: Background

  • Russia occupied Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014 after its troops had occupied the peninsula. An illegal referendum was held for Crimeans to decide on accession to Russia. De-facto Crimean authorities reported that allegedly 96.77% of the Crimean population had voted for acceding to Russia.
  • On March 18, 2014, the so-called "agreement on the accession" of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia was signed in the Kremlin.
  • The West did not recognize the annexation in response to which sanctions against Russia were introduced.
  • Ukraine's parliament voted to designate February 20, 2014, as the official date when the temporary occupation of Crimea began.