February 20, 2015

U.N. Security Council statement


UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations Security Council on February 17 issued a statement urging both sides to “immediately cease hostilities” and abide by the truce brokered last week in Minsk by Germany and France. The British-drafted statement expressed grave concern at continued fighting in and around Debaltseve. At a separate public meeting, the 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted a Russian-drafted resolution calling on all sides to respect the ceasefire. During the meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said it was “ironic” that Russia drafted such a resolution given the rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine are backed by Moscow. The developments come after both sides failed to begin pulling back heavy weapons from the front lines in the second phase of a cease-fire deal that came into effect on February 15. The withdrawal of tanks, artillery and rockets was supposed to begin on February 17 under the terms of a cease-fire agreement signed last week in Minsk. (RFE/RL, based on reporting by Reuters, the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse)