Latvia condemns 'blatant violation' of Minsk deal

Latvia's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday delivered a crystal-clear verdict on the Minsk peace agreement signed in the Belarusian capital last week after talks between Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, France and Germany.  

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its condemnation and grave concern in regard to the blatant violation of the Minsk agreements in the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve," a ministry statement said.

"The extremely intensive hostilities observed in and around Debaltseve in the past few days have resulted in the deaths of both civilians and military personnel. It is regrettable that separatists continue to violate the agreements reached in Minsk, endangering those agreements and their implementation."

Latvia called upon all parties to the conflict - "and upon Russia in particular," - to honor the Minsk commitments which mean an end to fighting and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

"Actual implementation of the Minsk agreements will be decisive for achieving stabilisation of the situation and channelling it towards a political solution," the ministry said, adding that all parties to the conflict should cooperate with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

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