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Foreign policy chief assures Ukraine of ‘unwavering EU support’

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The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, has assured the Ukrainian government of ‘unwavering EU support’ in the conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.

“Talked to Ukraine Foreign Minister @DmytroKuleba Following with severe concern the Russian military activity surrounding Ukraine,’’ Borrell tweeted after a telephone call with Kuleba.

“Unwavering EU support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity,’’ Borrell asserted.

He said the matter would be further discussed at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers.

At the weekend, Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region accused each other of attacks.

Germany and France, which are helping to find a solution to the Ukraine conflict through the so-called Normandy format, expressed concern about the “growing number of ceasefire violations’’.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and in particular Russian troop movements and call on all sides to show restraint and to work towards immediate de-escalation,’’ they said in a statement.

Insurgents have controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions along the Russian border for almost seven years.

According to UN estimates, more than 13,000 people have been killed since then.

Despite an agreed ceasefire, at least 21 soldiers have been killed on the government side since the beginning of the year.

According to the separatists, about 23 people have been killed in the same period.

A peace plan agreed in 2015 is on ice.

Meanwhile, the International Red Cross recently pointed out that parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – collectively known as Donbass – were among the most heavily mined areas in the world. (Dpa/NAN)


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