Such a statement was made by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to the OSCE Kate Burns today at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.
She reminded that Ukraine has urged to immediately declare a ceasefire to be able to repair the damaged infrastructure, tried to convene an urgent meeting of the Trilateral contact group on the settlement of the situation in the Donbas region, and urged the Special monitoring mission of the OSCE to increase the number of patrols in the area of Avdiivka.
“Nonetheless, combined Russian-separatist forces have insisted they will continue to fight until Ukrainian forces retreat. Russia and the separatists initiated the violence in Avdiivka. We call on Russia to stop the violence, honor the ceasefire, withdraw heavy weapons, and end attempts to seize new territory beyond the line of contact,” said Burns.
In this regard the U.S. diplomat noted that the air temperature in Ukraine, and in particular in Avdiivka area, dropped below zero.
“Temperatures have dropped far below freezing in Ukraine. Without water, electricity, or heat, the lives of thousands of people are at stake. Combined Russian-separatist forces must halt their attack on Avdiivka. They must stop the violence and allow repairs to critical infrastructure. Most of all, Russia and the separatists must demonstrate their willingness to fully abide by the ceasefire, a primary component of the Minsk agreements that they have so often broken,” said Burns.