21:06 31.01.2017

Spokesperson for EU high representative calls for immediate cessation of fighting in Avdiyivka

Heavy shelling from prohibited weapons of the city of Avdiyivka, the Donetsk region, is a blatant violation of the ceasefire, as stipulated by the Minsk agreements, the spokesperson for the European Union's high representative said.

"The intense fighting around Avdiyivka in the last few days, involving heavy shelling with proscribed weapons and leading to a considerable number of casualties, is a blatant violation of the ceasefire, as stipulated by the Minsk agreements. It puts civilian inhabitants at grave risk," the spokesperson said in a statement posted on European External Action Service website on Tuesday.

Furthermore, the latest incidents have already caused major disruptions in the provision of basic utility services to local communities, the spokesperson said.

"We call for the fighting to stop immediately. This would also allow for the urgent repair of critical infrastructure. Full observance of the ceasefire is a crucial step towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is the basis for a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the conflict, respecting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement said.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission must be granted full and unrestricted access to all conflict-affected areas, the statement said.

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