PARIS – The French president and the German chancellor on Saturday said that the growing ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine were unacceptable and urged both sides of the conflict to take responsibility.
In a joint statement released by the Elysée Palace – seat of France’s presidency – Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel stressed that the solution to the Ukrainian conflict could only be a peaceful one.
“In the light of the volatile security situation, we ask the sides for immediate and verifiable steps to remedy this situation,” read the statement.
Macron and Merkel reaffirmed their support for the full recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and their commitment to the complete implementation of the Minsk Accords signed in Feb. 2015 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko.
“It is necessary to implement agreements on disengagement and the withdrawal of heavy weapons behind the agreed withdrawal lines, withdrawal of tanks, artillery and mortars to the agreed storage sites,” the European leaders stated.
“Other aspects of the Minsk agreements, like the withdrawal of foreign armed formations or the return of control over the Russian-Ukrainian border need to addressed seriously as well,” they added.