MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An escalation of the Ukrainian conflict could occur at any time, as multiple ceasefire violations have been recorded, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday.
"There have been multiple violations of the ceasefire, the security situation is unstable in the east of Ukraine. We remain concerned that an escalation could occur at any time. Right now, we must concern ourselves with matters of security, there must be concrete progress in the area of security, this concerns maintaining the ceasefire, and granting access to the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] Special Monitoring Mission," Steinmeier told reporters during his working visit to Moscow.
In April 2014, Kiev launched a military operation against militias in eastern Ukraine, seeking independence from the central government. In February 2015, Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine worked out a ceasefire deal in Minsk, later signed by Kiev and the East Ukrainian militias. Despite the fact that the agreement was reached a year ago, there have been repeated reports of violations of the deal.
The Trilateral Contact Group, comprising Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE, is due to reconvene in Minsk on Wednesday. The group is tasked with facilitating the implementation of the Minsk agreements.