Security Council backs Ukraine peace agreements

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The UN Security Council Wednesday backed the Ukraine peace agreements signed in Minsk, Belarus and demanded the immediate cessation of violence.

The council urged the rebels to comply with the ceasefire in force since Sunday.

Fifteen members of the UN Security Council came together to unanimously adopt a resolution driven by Russia which has expressed support for a negotiated solution to the conflict.

The text supports the measures agreed to in Minsk Feb 12 and welcomes the commitments to implement the pact made by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

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Minutes before adopting the resolution, the council members issued a statement expressing regret that, despite the truce in force, violence continued in some parts of eastern Ukraine.

In particular, they expressed concern over the fighting around the strategic town of Debaltseve, and urged all the parties to immediately stop hostilities.

The Ukrainian government Tuesday accused Russia and the pro-Russian separatists of violating the peace agreements, including the ceasefire, to launch an offensive against the town in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

“Unfortunately, neither Russia nor the so-called republic people of Donetsk and Lugansk are complying with the agreements,” said Valeri Chali, head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, at a press conference.

Despite the consensus, the division between Russia and the Western powers was discussed once again at the meeting in which US Ambassador Samantha Power said that it was ironic that Russia raised a resolution in favour of a peaceful solution for Ukraine when it was responsible for violence in the country.

“We’ve gotten used to living in an upside down world with respect to Ukraine. Russia speaks of peace and then fuels conflict. Russia signs agreements and then does everything within its power to undermine them,” Power said.

In response, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin expressed his disappointment and called the comments offensive.

Churkin claimed that Russia has always wanted peace in Ukraine and considered that after the unprecedented diplomatic effort in Minsk, there was a chance to put an end to the crisis.

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