«Normandy Quartet» ministers urge to withdraw heavy weapons from Donbas

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have expressed concern over the outbreak of hostilities in the eastern Ukraine, urged to respect the regime of quiet, to withdraw heavy weapons, and to promote opportunities for peace in Donbas.

This is stated in a joint statement released after the meeting in Berlin.

"The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine continued their discussion on the way ahead towards a peaceful settlement of the crisis situation in Eastern Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements, including a sustainable political process," reads the statement.

They note with serious concern that their call for full respect of the regime of quiet has not been followed, and that, to the contrary, fighting in the Donbas area has severely escalated causing the loss of many human lives including civilians.

Ministers call on all sides involved to cease hostilities and to withdraw heavy weapons in accordance with the Line of Contact as stipulated in the Annex to the Minsk Memorandum, September 19, 2014, to be monitored by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and supported by agreed mechanisms on the ground.

The ministers also reiterate that tangible progress on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements must be achieved ahead of a planned summit meeting in Astana.

They also call on the Trilateral Contact Group to establish Working Groups on relevant aspects of the Minsk agreements."

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