Germany and France have called for Russian officers to return to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the ceasefire in the Donbas. A joint statement was signed on December 23 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, reports Radio Liberty.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed anxiety over the withdrawal of Russian representatives from JCCC.
"This measure [is] yet another attempt at undermining security of the monitors’ work and at further restricting their capabilities to move around on the ground. We strongly believe that the Russian side will decide to promptly return to the JCCC," the Polish Foreign Ministry's statement said.
In their statements, the countries above also called upon the parties to the Donbas conflict to stop violations of the ceasefire, as "there is no alternative short of peaceful settlement of the conflict."
Russia decided to withdraw its representatives from the JCCC on December 19 due to the "tense moral and psychological situation" and "disdainful attitude of Ukrainian servicemen." Ukrainian representatives have said that Russia's withdrawal of its JCCC representatives is an attempt by the Kremlin to force Kyiv to negotiate with representatives of DPR and LPR separatist groups.
In response, Ukraine decided to withdraw its representatives to the JCCC from the controlled territory.