Ceasefire in Ukraine Largely Holds on First Day

Ukraine | February 16, 2015, Monday // 07:41|  views

A tank of pro-Russian rebels drives through Donetsk, Ukraine, 15 February 2015. Photo: EPA

The OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine reported that the ceasefire, which entered into force on Sunday, was largely observed during the first hours, except in Debaltseve, Raihorodka and Luhansk.

The OSCE monitors were denied access to the key transport hub of Debaltseve, where fighting has continued.

Debaltseve, which has been the centre of the latest surge in violence, has been besieged by the separatists, who are claiming it as their internal territory where the ceasefire is not applicable.

A military spokesman announced that the Ukrainian army came under attack 60 times since the ceasefire entered into force.

Apart from these violations, both sides report that the ceasefire held in most of the country.

Despite the ceasefire, the EU is expected to extend the list of Russian and Ukrainian citizens, who will be subjected to travel bans and asset freezes.

Russia was warned that the EU might impose further sanctions in case the Minsk ceasefire is not implemented.

The leaders of the so-called Normandy format, who had negotiated the ceasefire last week, held further talks on Sunday for implementing the next steps of the ceasefire.

The second day of the ceasefire foresees the withdrawal of heavy weapons in order to create two demilitarised buffer zones with width of 50-140 kilometres.

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Tags: Ukraine, ceasefire, Minsk, OSCE, Russia, Debaltseve, Luhansk, Normandy format, EU, sanctions


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