Russia is directly responsible for the situation in the Donbass – MEP

Russia bears direct responsibility for solving the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. This was at the hearings in the European Parliament said the representative of the presidency of Malta in the EU Council Ian Borg.

“In two years we see that the Minsk agreement is still not implemented fully. We are seeing a large number of violations of the cease-fire, the use of heavy weapons, including artillery and tanks, the restriction of the activities of the monitoring mission of the OSCE,” he said.

“Russia bears direct responsibility for solving the crisis. We will continue to urge Russia to use its tangible influence on the separatists, which it supports, to lead them to the implementation of the Minsk agreements”, – said the representative of the presidency of Malta.

According to Borg, the EU and beyond are deeply concerned about “the presence of Russian military equipment and personnel in separatists-held areas in the Donbass”.

He recalled that on 3 February, the EU’s high representative Federica Mogherini held a telephone conversation with Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which he stressed the need to ensure full cease-fire to open the way for implementation of other provisions of the Minsk agreements.

Ukraine also was a key issue in talks with Mogherini representatives of the new US administration, said Borg. According to him, the head of European diplomacy used this opportunity to convey to the Washington unified European position on sanctions.

“We see sanctions not as a goal but as a tool. When the Minsk agreements are fulfilled, appropriate sanctions will be removed,” said he, adding that this also means that while the agreements have not been implemented, the sanctions remain.

We will remind, in the European Parliament are urgently asked about the situation in the Donbass in the agenda of today’s plenary session.