France and Germany have emphasized and called upon both parties concerned, Russia and Ukraine, to respect and adhere to the provisions of the Minsk agreement as agreed upon for a cease-fire in the eastern Ukraine. The agreement also called for withdrawal of heavy weaponry and de-escalation of situation. French President, Francois Hollande, and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have threatened new sanctions if Russia and Ukraine did not comply with the provisions of the Minsk agreement.
While talking to reporters on Friday in Paris, the French President and the German Chancellor warned of sanctions to be imposed on non-implementation of the Minsk agreement to stabilize situations in the eastern Ukraine. They added that sanctions could be imposed on the country not complying with the provisions of the agreement. Merkel further said that she had been in constant touch with the French President over the Ukraine issue and the Minsk agreement, and they were fully convinced that total implementation of the agreement was the need of the hour, and its need could not be over-emphasized. The violation of cease-fire almost immediately after the signing of the agreement, especially at Debaltseve, is highly disturbing. Hollande added that any country failing to comply with Minsk agreements risked sanctions.
Only the last week, Merkel and Hollande mediated between Russian President, Putin, and Ukrainian President, Poroshenko, and it led to the signing of Minsk agreement which was violated with impunity immediately after it’s signing causing huge loss of men and material in eastern Ukraine, especially in Debaltseve. Even White House observed non-compliance of the provisions of the agreements, and warned of costs. It added that Russia was at fault in not observing terms of the agreement, and would have to pay the price for it. The U.N. human rights office, also, has expressed its deep anguish and concern at the human rights violations in eastern Ukraine, and has expressed apprehensions that over 5700 people were killed in the fighting so far. The UN official added that the agency was deeply worried about the fates of civilians and wounded or captured soldiers. The situations prevailing in eastern Ukraine warranted global concern and action, he averred.