News ID: 214940
Published: 0302 GMT May 12, 2018

Germany concerned over truce breaches in Ukraine: Merkel

Germany concerned over truce breaches in Ukraine: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed grave concern over continued violations of a ceasefire between Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed forces in eastern Ukraine.

"Every night there are violations of the ceasefire and every day there are human casualties," Merkel said on Saturday at a ceremony in the central Italian town of Assisi, where she received a prize for her peace-making efforts.

"Ukraine concerns us and in the 'Normandy Format' -- which groups Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine -- we try to get the Minsk (ceasefire) accords respected," she said.

Normandy Format was created in June 2014 to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, Presstv reported.

The armed conflict in Ukraine broke out after deep political changes in Kiev where a pro-Western movement staged weeks of street protests that led to the ouster of the pro-Russia government.

People in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and in the industrial eastern territories of Ukraine, areas which are dominated by ethnic Russians, effectively refused to endorse the new administration in Kiev.

The conflict in Ukraine intensified after people in Crimea voted for reunification with the Russian Federation in a referendum in March 2014. 

The warring sides signed a ceasefire agreement in the Belarusian capital Minsk in September 2014.

They agreed on 12 points, including pulling back heavy weapons, releasing prisoners, setting up a buffer zone on the Russia-Ukraine border, and allowing access to international observers.

The two sides also inked another truce deal, dubbed Minsk II, in February 2015 under the supervision of Germany, France and Russia.

Since then, however, both parties have on numerous occasions accused each other of breaking the cessation of hostilities.

The pro-Russians have also turned the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east — collectively known as the Donbass — into self-proclaimed republics.

Kiev accuses Moscow of involvement in the conflict, a charge Russia has denied.

The Ukraine crisis has left almost 10,000 people dead and over 23,000 others injured, according to the latest figures provided by the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

Resource: presstv
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