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    Ukraine Ceasefire Holds Despite Some Violence - State Department

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    State Department said that the United States does not consider the ceasefire in Ukraine dead despite incidents of violence in eastern Ukraine following the implementation of the ceasefire over the weekend.


    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States does not consider the ceasefire in Ukraine dead despite incidents of violence in eastern Ukraine following the implementation of the ceasefire over the weekend, the State Department said on Wednesday.

    “We don’t consider it [the ceasefire] as dead,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a press briefing, noting that the US remains concerned about reports that independence supporters have taken the strategic railroad city of Debaltseve in violation of the ceasefire.

    Citing Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reports, Psaki said the violence continues but the “quantity and intensity has decreased,” and both sides have withdrawn heavy weapons in certain areas as outlined by the Minsk peace plan.

    “We remain focused on supporting the implementation of this agreement,” Psaki said.

    Last week, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine reached a deal in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to implement a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine between government forces and independence supporters that aims to pave the way for a political settlement.

    According to the 13-point Minsk plan, a ceasefire was supposed to go into effect on Saturday, and heavy weapons are to be withdrawn over two-weeks starting on February 17. The OSCE is monitoring the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons.

    Nearly four days since the ceasefire, the OSCE reported the ceasefire has been “adhered to despite some incidents” in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk, Debaltseve and Donetsk.

    Pro-independence supporters in eastern Ukraine took control of Debaltseve on Wednesday as Ukrainian forces retreated from the encircled city.

    Psaki said the pro-independence supporters have argued Debaltseve falls within their area of control and did not apply to the ceasefire agreement. The State Department rejected their assertion.


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    U.S. Department of State, ceasefire, Ukraine, United States
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