BRUSSELS, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union is shocked by the killing of a Swiss Red Cross worker in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk and deems the continued shelling "unacceptable", EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and EU commissioner responsible for humanitarian aid Kristalina Georgieva said in a joint statement Friday.
"It was with shock and deep sadness that we learned of the killing of Laurent DuPasquier, a dedicated 38-year old Swiss employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in Donetsk yesterday. Our thoughts are with his family and friends as well as his colleagues in the ICRC," the statement said.
"We are aware that there have been more civilian casualties in the same area. The continued shelling of residential areas is unacceptable," the EU officials underlined, calling on all parties to the Ukrainian conflict "to fully respect International Humanitarian Law, protect civilians and humanitarian workers and to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian organizations."
Swiss citizen Laurent DuPasquier was killed in heavy artillery bombardment of central Donetsk on Thursday, according to the ICRC.
Earlier on Friday, Moscow called for an unbiased and thorough investigation into DuPasquier's death. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underlined that the Kiev government and east Ukraine independence supporters must strictly observe agreements reached last month in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
Ukraine has been engulfed in a violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began its military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. The conflict claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people, according to the UN.
The sides agreed on a ceasefire at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in Minsk on September 5. Another meeting of the group on September 19 resulted in a memorandum, specifying implementation of the ceasefire, which involves the creation of a 30-kilometer (18-mile) buffer zone, withdrawal of all heave weapons from residential areas and the deployment of the OSCE monitoring mission.
Since the establishment of the ceasefire regime, the conflicting sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the agreement. However, the OSCE stated that the truce was generally holding.