NATO Commander Blames East Ukraine Militia for Breaching Minsk Agreements

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoSupreme Allied Commander Europe U.S. General Philip M. Breedlove
Supreme Allied Commander Europe U.S. General Philip M. Breedlove - Sputnik International
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove blamed the Eastern Ukrainian pro-independent militia for for breaching the ceasefire deal.

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MOSCOW, (Sputnik) — NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Philip Breedlove blamed the Eastern Ukrainian pro-independent militia for breaching the ceasefire deal, agreed upon last week.

"Concerned by the situation in Ukraine as separatists refuse to observe cease-fire in Debaltseve & deny OSCE access," Breedlove said on his Twitter account Tuesday.

The chief of the special Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Ukraine stated Sunday that the independence supporters barred the organization’s monitors from accessing Debaltseve. Several thousand Kiev troops remain in the city.

Igor Plotnitsky, the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, told RIA Novosti that he met a team of monitors Monday when he visited areas in the vicinity of the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

A military boot is seen at the road near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 17, 2015 - Sputnik International
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"Yesterday I saw their vehicles near Alchevsk, some 15 kilometers from the frontline. No one told me anything. I did not talk to them, no one talked to me or made any statements," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Kiev said about 2,000 of its soldiers are surrounded in Debaltseve.

Last week, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany reached a ceasefire deal in Minsk. Under the agreement, the warring sides must respect the ceasefire starting February 15, while the OSCE must closely monitor the truce.

Since Sunday, both Kiev and the independence supporters reported a number of violations, but said the truce was generally holding.

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