France, Germany concerns E Ukraine situation

France and Germany deplore “serious violations of the ceasefire, including the use of heavy weapons” in eastern Ukraine, said a statement issued on Monday by the Elysee Palace.

Despite the endorsement by the Normandy Format, a diplomatic group set up by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, the security situation in eastern Ukraine has not significantly improved, according to the statement in the name of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The ceasefire decided by the group is not fully implemented by the parties who are signatories to the deal, said the statement.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)’s monitoring mission in Ukraine continues to report “threats to its personnel and restrictions on its freedom of movement, particularly in non-governmental areas,” the statement added.

The two leaders urged their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to “fully comply with their commitments, to publicly endorse the ceasefire and to ensure that appropriate instructions have been sent to the military and deployed personnel in the field.”

Macron and Merkel said they would continue to “watch closely” the situation in the coming days.

“We encourage greater cooperation with the Joint Control and Coordination Center on the ongoing fights and we call on all parties to ensure safe and unimpeded access for the OSCE observation mission in Ukraine,” they said.

Macron and Merkel held a four-way phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss security issues in Ukraine on Aug. 22.

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