Germany says Minsk agreement damaged but not dead

Germany condemned a military offensive by pro-Russian separatists to capture the strategic eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve on Wednesday, calling it a clear violation of the cease-fire agreed last week, but said it was too early to call the broader Minsk peace deal dead.

At a regular government news conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Europe stood ready to introduce new sanctions against Russia, but made it clear that this would depend on further developments on the ground in Ukraine, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

"There has been a massive violation of the cease-fire which took effect on Sunday," Seibert said, noting, however, that it was too early to say whether the Minsk peace deal had failed or not.

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"The hopes linked to the Minsk agreement have been seriously damaged, we must push for the implementation of the package of measures. We see the U.N. resolution as an impulse in this direction and in the coming days we will work with the possibilities that we have," Seibert said.

Minsk talks which lasted for over 16 hours resulted in the Tripartite group signing a "Set of Measures on the implementation of Minsk agreements," and the leaders of the "Normandy Four" that met in parallel verbally approved a declaration in support of these measures.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n325231