President of the European Council Charles Michel said this at a joint press conference with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The war on the European continent in 2021 is a shameful reality as people continue to die amid this conflict and live in extremely difficult conditions, the President of the European Council stated.
"I wanted to come here to emphasize once again how unacceptable this situation is… Full implementation of the Minsk agreements is the way towards peace, and I welcome the important steps that Ukraine has taken in this regard," Michel said.
According to the President of the European Council, he saw how the efforts on the contact line, which Ukraine makes in close cooperation with international partners, improves people's lives, and assured that the EU was ready to continue these efforts.
"Unfortunately, Russia has not demonstrated the same positive steps that Ukraine has taken to implement the Minsk agreements. That is why our economic sanctions against Russia will remain in place. Russia is a part of this conflict, not a mediator," Michel said.
As he noted, the EU expects Russia to ensure full access for the OSCE SMM to all Ukrainian territories currently not controlled by the government.
"The Covid-19 pandemic should not be used as an excuse to further separate these territories from Ukraine," the European Council President said.
He also called on Russia to return to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination on ceasefire and stabilization of the demarcation line.
As reported, European Council President Charles Michel has started his two-day visit to Ukraine on March 2.
Today, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky make a joint trip to Donbas.
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