Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the Situation in Eastern Ukraine
We are very concerned by intensified fighting in eastern Ukraine, as well as numerous reports, including from the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), that Russian backed and supplied separatists are moving large convoys of heavy weapons and tanks to the front lines of the conflict. We continue to call on all sides to strictly adhere to the cease-fire. Any attempt by separatist forces to seize additional territory in eastern Ukraine would be a blatant violation of the Minsk agreements. We reiterate our call on the Russian Federation to honor all of the commitments it made in Minsk, including ending its military supply to the separatists and the withdrawal of all of its troops and weapons from Ukraine. Furthermore, Russia must enable the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty along the Ukrainian side of the international border, to be monitored by the OSCE, and facilitate the release of all hostages. We continue to stress that adherence to the framework agreed upon in Minsk is the best chance of achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.