MEP in Eastern Ukraine 'shocked' by violations of Minsk II ceasefire
A Flemish MEP in the Debaltseve region of Eastern Ukraine has spoken of his shock at the level of aggression he witnessed by Russian backed military forces, despite a ceasefire agreement that was supposed to enter force last weekend.
Mark Demesmaeker MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists Group Human Rights spokesman, has accompanied a team of volunteers to deliver aid to military personnel and refugees.
“I saw with my own eyes the severe violations of the Minsk II ceasefire agreement. Ukrainian positions are under constant hostile fire. I saw how a gas pipeline was set ablaze. The Ukrainian forces have no choice but to defend their positions and they are very determined about that.
“There is constant artillery and GRAD rocket fire. The situation at the checkpoints I visited on the way from Artemovsk to Debaltseve is very tense.”
Despite the Minsk II agreement, Russian backed forces launched a new massive attack against the strategic town of Debaltseve. Heavy weaponry is not being removed. Mr Demesmaeker has also seen a clear violation of the ceasefire at the airport in Donetsk.
“The European Union must react in a clear and united way to the events in Debaltseve. Putin has the key in his hand. He imported the war to Ukraine, and he is the one who can and must stop it. The EU must make it absolutely clear that the Minsk II agreement has to be met entirely. The agreement will prevail or fail with the fate of Debaltseve.
“Nobody I have met here believes that Putin’s appetite will be satisfied after the fall of Debaltseve.”