This was stated by U.S. Ambassador to OSCE Daniel B. Baer at a sitting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“Russia has escalated tensions on the line of contact in an attempt to wrest concessions from Ukraine by force,” Baer said.
He stressed that fighting makes political progress on the Minsk agreements all the more difficult to achieve.
“If Russia truly wants agreement on modalities for local elections, on amnesty, on special status, and on decentralization, the way forward is clear: stop attacking Ukrainian forces, withdraw heavy weapons, and grant full access to the SMM throughout Ukraine, including the region along the border with Russia,” Baer noted.
He also emphasized that combined Russian-separatist forces repeatedly launch similar attacks throughout eastern Ukraine, and this is the Russian leadership that is responsible for these actions.