: RFE/RL: Ukraine says stronger cease-fire needed to make political progress

14:59 Apr. 29, 2016

RFE/RL: Ukraine says stronger cease-fire needed to make political progress

A Russia-backed rebel looks in the direction of the Ukrainian government forces positions from inside a trench on March 8, 2015. (AP Images)

Ceasefire violations in the eastern Donetsk region reached worrying levels

Ukraine told the UN Security Council that its cease-fire with separatists in the east must be strengthened before progress can be achieved on a political solution to the two-year conflict.

Read also UN: 9,300 killed in Donbas

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko suggested the Orthodox Easter holiday this weekend might provide an opportunity to shore up the truce after a surge of violations in recent months.

"If we can start with that, we can then proceed to withdrawal of forces and resolving of all the problems - demining, humanitarian problems - all the way down to a political resolution," Prystaiko told the council on April 28.

Read also 10 things you need to know about Ukraine's crisis

It was the first Security Council meeting on Ukraine since December. Ukraine requested the meeting to discuss cease-fire violations in the eastern Donetsk region that OSCE monitors say have reached worrying levels over the past few weeks.

Ukraine detailed accusations that Russia is providing military backing for the separatists, a claim Moscow rejects.

Read also 'No talks on armed OSCE mission to Ukraine' - German Foreign Ministry

"Russia has organized and deployed in Donbas a 34,000-strong hybrid military force consisting of regular Russian troops as well as of foreign and local militants," Prystaiko said.

Full story 

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