“Russia speaks of peace, and then fuels conflict,” Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., said in her February 17 remarks to the Security Council condemning continued violence in Ukraine carried out by Russian-backed separatists.
Power called on Russia “to show real commitment to Minsk.”
Credible media reported that Ukraine pulled thousands of troops from Debaltseve on February 18 while separatists ignored the cease-fire and carried out a massive assault to seize the railroad town in eastern Ukraine.
“Russia signs agreements, and then does everything within its power to undermine them,” Power said. “Russia champions the sovereignty of nations, and then acts as if a neighbor’s borders do not exist.”
News of the recent violence comes less than a week after the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Trilateral Contact Group — supported by leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France — had reached a February 12 agreement in Minsk on a cease-fire and heavy weapons withdrawal in eastern Ukraine.
“We are caught in a deadly feedback loop. International leaders engage in rigorous, exhaustive negotiations to get Russia to commit to peace. … Yet Russia’s commitments have no bearing on the actions of its soldiers and the separatists they back on the ground,” Power said. She reiterated that the February 12 agreement is a road map that offers the correct steps to take to fulfill earlier cease-fire commitments made in the September 2014 Minsk agreements.