Baku. 18 February. REPORT.AZ/ The United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution endorsing the 13-point accord on ending the Ukraine crisis agreed in Minsk – including a cease-fire – and called on all parties to the conflict to fully implement that cessation of hostilities, as the UN human rights office expressed concern over reported shelling and trapped civilians in the country’s east.
Adopting a unanimous resolution, the 15-member Council endorsed the ‘Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements,’ which was adopted and signed in Minsk on 12 February. That agreement is annexed to the resolution. It states that the immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions went into effect on 15 February, 12am local time.
Report informs, that Council Members also welcomed the Declaration by the Presidents of Russia, Ukraine, France, and the Chancellor of Germany in support of the Minsk Agreements (Annex II), and their continuing commitment to its implementation.
The Council called on all parties to fully implement the ‘Package of Measures,’ including a comprehensive ceasefire as provided for therein. It also decided to remain seized of the matter.
In a separate statement read out to reporters by Ambassador Jieyi Liu of China, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month, Council members expressed grave concern over the continued fighting in and around Debaltseve, Ukraine, which has resulted in numerous casualties.
The Council called on all parties to ‘immediately cease hostilities and abide by commitments agreed in Minsk,’ including facilitating access for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk Agreements. The Council further called on all parties to treat detained individuals humanely.
The Security Council said it regretted that despite the announcement of a ceasefire on 15 February, violence has continued in recent days in some parties of eastern Ukraine.
Echoing that sentiment, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also expressed concern by reports of continued shelling and trapped civilians in Debaltseve.
While reliable information on the fighting or casualties in the area has yet to be verified, spokesperson Rupert Colville said “We believe there may be a few thousand hiding in cellars, struggling to get food, water and other basic necessities. It is unclear how many civilians are still there.”
Intense hostilities marked the days preceding the midnight ceasefire of 15 February, with dispatches reporting numerous military and civilian casualties.