Paris and Berlin reiterate UN chief’s call for ceasefire in eastern Ukraine

COVID-19 – Joint statement by the French and German foreign ministers

Paris, 30 March 2020

At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic poses a historic challenge to the international community, we must actively pursue our efforts to end the violent conflicts currently under way. With regard to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, France and Germany call on all the parties to shoulder their responsibilities in the face of major threats to human health.

We call on all the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine to implement UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s call for a global ceasefire in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

France and Germany are deeply concerned by the restrictions imposed since 21 March 2020 on the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) by members of armed groups in non-government-controlled areas. The COVID-19 epidemic should not serve as a pretext for restricting the Mission’s freedom of movement and hindering the implementation of its mandate. The SMM must have safe, secure and unconditional access to all Ukrainian territory, including non-government-controlled areas. Russia must use its influence to guarantee its free and safe passage.

Furthermore, France and Germany call for lifting restrictions on access to non-government-controlled areas for UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC must have full and unconditional access to detainees linked to the conflict in non-government-controlled areas, in line with the conclusions of the last Normandy-format summit of heads of State and Government

France and Germany welcome the resumption of activities at the Donetsk filtration station, which makes it possible to supply water to hundreds of thousands of people. It calls on all the parties to take all necessary measures to guarantee safe working conditions for employees at critical infrastructures to ensure the continuity of their activities.

Once again we call on the parties to implement the common conclusions of the last Normandy-format summit, held on 9 December 2019, especially those concerning still-pending agreements on new crossing points, disengagement areas, demining and another prisoner exchange

France and Germany continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We remain committed to a peaceful and lasting resolution of the conflict through the full implementation of the Minsk agreements./.

Published on 31/03/2020

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