12 February 2019
We thank Assistant Secretary-General Mirosalv Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Müller, Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, as well as Ambassador Martin Sajdik for their informative briefings.
It is clear from the briefings we have heard, that there remains an urgent need for the immediate cessation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine. The continued violations of the ceasefire, including the presence of heavy weapons and their use, in violation of the Minsk agreements are of serious concern.
It is also of great concern that on-going tensions and conflict are exacerbating the dire humanitarian conditions on the ground. The parties need to ensure that there is an urgent de-escalation of tensions, through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, to allow a situation that is conducive for the alleviation of the humanitarian crisis.
In this regard, it remains necessary for all parties to fully implement all of their respective commitments under the Minsk Agreements. At this point, the Minsk agreements, including the package of measures agreed under Minsk II, provide the most promising roadmap for peace.
It is also of critical importance that the parties refrain from actions that could be viewed as provocative, and which may further impede a peaceful resolution to the situation, in line with the Minsk agreements.
Furthermore, it is important that the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), is allowed unhindered access to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk agreements in line with its mandate.
South Africa encourages the various parties to strengthen all diplomatic efforts to produce a sustainable and peaceful solution.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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