US Embassy in Ukraine Urges Russia to Facilitate Deescalation of Donbass Conflict
KIEV (Sputnik) - The United States embassy in Kiev on Sunday called on Russia to take on the responsibility to contribute to the prompt resolution of the conflict in the Donbass Region.
"On the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Minsk Protocol, we call on Russia to fully implement its Minsk commitments, including by allowing OSCE to monitor the Ukraine-Russia border and releasing illegally detained persons. Russia must withdraw its weapons and forces and return to Ukraine full control of its internationally-recognized borders. Russia must take responsibility to end the conflict it began in eastern Ukraine," the US embassy wrote on Facebook.
On Thursday, at the meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Russia refused to prolong the mandate for the OSCE’s observer mission at the border checkpoints after 30 September. The Ukrainian delegation of the trilateral contact group on Donbass later said that Russia breached the clause 4 of the Minsk Protocol, which obligates the sides to ensure constant monitoring and verification of the Russian-Ukrainian border by the OSCE.
Ukraine launched a military operation in its predominantly Russian-speaking region of Donbas in 2014, after the latter refused to recognize a new government in Kiev. Over 13,000 people were killed in the war, according to the latest data of the UN. Deescalation has been discussed since September 2014, and a special Minsk contact group to tackle the issue, involving Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE, was formed. However, the truce periodically collapses in shellfire.
Moscow has repeatedly said that it is not a side in Ukraine's domestic conflict and is interested in its settlement.