Ukraine ambassador urges separatists to respect fragile ceasefire accord

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Yurii Klymenko. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

The Ukrainian government has called for "concrete deeds" from separatist fighters to respect the days-old ceasefire agreement.

Amid continuing fighting in the south-east of the country, Ukraine's ambassador to the UN said Russian-backed militants had not pulled back their troops from the front line.

The ambassador said any attempt to move away from the Minsk agreement would be seen as an attempt to disrupt the arrangements reached, as Daniel Johnson reports.

Speaking at the UN in Geneva, ambassador Yurii Klymenko accused pro-Russian insurgents of continuing in their attempts to seize the key south-east transport hub of Debaltseve.

He urged "all parties" in the conflict to fulfil their commitments to the ceasefire agreement and said peace was still possible:

"We still have a chance to stabilise the situation in the south-east of Ukraine."

The ambassador said rebels had launched 164 shell-based attacks since the latest ceasefire plan signed in Minsk on Sunday, killing 10 Ukrainian soldiers.

His comments come after UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon expressed concern over reports of continued fighting.

Mr Klymenko, who's Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN in Geneva, also criticised what he described as "so-called humanitarian convoys" which crossed the border from Russia.

He said that attacks against the Ukrainian military intensified after the arrival of such convoys.

There was no immediate comment from Russia at the UN in Geneva.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations. 

Duration: 1"03

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