Ceasefire should be fully implemented to be able to fight COVID-19 crisis in Ukraine's east
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calls for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine to combat the COVID-19 crisis.
"The COVID-19 crisis, the coronavirus, cannot be used as an excuse to further limit the work of the OSCE monitors. So, we call on Russia to stop the fighting in Ukraine. They back, they support separatists responsible for continued ceasefire violations. We also need the ceasefire to be fully implemented to be able to fight the COVID-19 crisis in the country," he said at a virtual press conference, which was broadcast on the organization's website after the meeting of foreign ministers, which also took place in a video conference format.
Stoltenberg stated that "when it goes of the east of Ukraine, we see that despite the call from Russia for a pause in a military activity, Russia-backed separatists continue to attack Ukrainian forces in the east of the country." "And we see ceasefire violations continuing both in Donetsk and in Luhansk. And we see that these violations are not only reported by Ukraine but also confirmed by the OSCE monitors," he stressed.
At the same time, the Secretary General noted that making use of the coronavirus crisis as an argument for the ban on free movement for OSCE observers complicates their work, as "they are restricted in their ability to move, and therefore, they are not able to report in the way they should."