The EU insists on the need for the Russian Federation to comply with the Minsk agreements in connection with its withdrawal from the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) for issues related to the ceasefire and the stabilization of the contact line, reported UNIAN citing cites the EU representative.
"We expect that all parties will implement the Minsk agreements. The EU continues to support diplomatic efforts aimed at their full implementation, which serves as the basis for a sustainable political settlement of the conflict in the east of Ukraine, and which respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We believe that the forum for solving the JCCC issue is the Tripartite Contact Group," he stated.
The EU also expressed concern over an increase in violations of the ceasefire.
"We take the number of violations of the ceasefire extremely seriously, as it is the largest number since March 2017," the EU representative said.
In addition, he drew particular attention to the fact that the location of forces in close proximity to residential areas and shooting from or towards critical infrastructure also worsens the situation, and therefore, further efforts at stabilization are important.
"All parties must respect the ceasefire regime, withdraw their forces and move heavy weapons into storage areas that can be checked. To this end, we join the appeal, in particular, by Germany and France, for a Christmas ceasefire to be agreed upon at the Tripartite Contact Group meeting scheduled for December 20. We also reiterate our call for the OSCE SMM and its technical equipment to have full, safe and unhindered access throughout Ukraine," he added.
On December 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia would stop its representation at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) on the ceasefire and the stabilization of situation on the demarcation line in the Donbas, and that Russian officers would leave Ukraine on December 19 because of the supposedly "tense moral and psychological situation" and "disdainful attitude of Ukrainian servicemen.”