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    France Worried Over Rise of Tensions in Donbass – Foreign Ministry

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    French authorities are concerned with the increasing tensions over Donbass, the French Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Alexandre Giorgini said Monday.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — French authorities are concerned with the increasing tensions within Eastern Ukraine and call on all parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire, the French Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Alexandre Giorgini said Monday.

    "We are extremely concerned with the level of violence all along the contact line, as well as with the use of heavy weapons, which are prohibited by the Minsk agreements," Giorgini said during a briefing.

    According to the deputy spokesman, Paris insists on the need to respect the "harvest truce," which was agreed upon by the Trilateral Contact Group.

    Giorgini stressed that attempts to intimidate the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers and interfere in their work were unacceptable. He also highlighted that the measures agreed upon by the parties on resolving the situation needed to be implemented immediately, with Moscow needed to exert the necessary pressure on the Donbas militia.

    The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has repeatedly been attacked by armed groups, with the most recent of such cases occurring last week.

    On Wednesday, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine agreed to impose a ceasefire from June 24 until August 31, or during the time of harvest. The decision was later confirmed by the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republic (DPR and LPR), Ukrainian envoy Leonid Kuchma's spokeswoman Daria Olifer, and OSCE special representative Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine Martin Sajdik. Despite this, both sides have already accused each other of violating the newest ceasefire.

    A violent military conflict in Ukraine started in 2014 after the residents of Donbass refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that came to power, in what they perceived to be a coup. The ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk in 2015, brokered by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, but the situation has remained tense and unresolved.

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    Tags:
    military conflict, ceasefire violation, OSCE, Special Monitoring Mission of OSCE (OSCE SMM), French Foreign Ministry, Donbass, France
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