The actions by the Russia-backed separatists in Debaltseve are a clear violation of the ceasefire. The separatists must stop all military activities. Russia and the separatists have to immediately and fully implement the commitments agreed to in Minsk, in line with yesterday's UN Security Council resolution, starting with the respect of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of all heavy weapons.
Furthermore, the EU calls for immediate access of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to assume its monitoring and verification functions in and around Debaltseve and to any other site the Mission needs to go.
Safe passage for all those who want to leave the area must also be ensured.
The EU stands ready to take appropriate action in case the fighting and other negative developments in violation of the Minsk agreements continue.