We condemn the sharp escalation of violence along the ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists.
This comes at great human cost to civilians. We express our condolences to the Ukrainian people for these tragic losses. Thirty civilians were killed and around a hundred were injured in the attack launched on residential areas of Mariupol. The attack was launched from territory controlled by separatists backed by Russia.
Such indiscriminate attacks are unjustified and unacceptable.
The aggressive actions and provocative statements of the separatists are in direct contradiction with the Minsk agreements.
Yet despite its repeated commitments to work for a peaceful solution, Russia continues to provide them with support, training, equipment and forces.
In recent weeks, Russia has supplied hundreds of pieces of advanced equipment, including rocket systems, heavy artillery, tanks, armored vehicles and electronic warfare systems.
We call on Russia to stop its support for the separatists immediately, to stop destabilising Ukraine and to respect its international commitments.
We urge all parties to continue all efforts without delay to achieve a peaceful solution, in full conformity with the Minsk agreements.
We reaffirm that an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to security in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Reporter Section NATO