Ukraine: possible return to full-scale fighting

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Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

An upsurge in hostilities in the east of Ukraine is raising fears of a possible return to full-scale fighting in the country.

Assistant Secretary-General Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen shared these concerns during his briefing to members of the Security Council.

In September, the Government and rebel groups agreed to end months of fighting, naming the accords after Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where the negotiations took place.

The recent fighting however, is putting a "continuous and serious strain" on the ceasefire, Mr Toyberg-Frandzen noted.

"With the Minsk agreements in question, and uncertainty over how much strain the ceasefire can withstand, we are deeply concerned over the possibility of a return to full-scale fighting. Alternatively, the conflict may simmer in this way for months, with sporadic low level battles marked by periods of increased hostilities and further casualties. While either scenario would be a catastrophe for Ukraine, a third concerning prospect is that of a frozen or protracted conflict that would entrench the status quo in south eastern Ukraine for several years or several decades to come."

Failure to secure the Russian-Ukrainian border is a factor that continues to impede peace, he added.

Meanwhile, parliamentary elections were held recently throughout most of Ukraine, although there was no voting in Crimea and parts of rebel-held Dombas.

Quoting the European security bloc, OSCE, Mr Toyberg-Frandzen said the elections largely upheld democratic commitments.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40”

 

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