The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is indignant at the unilateral decision of the Russian Federation on withdrawal of military personnel of the Russian Armed Forces from the Joint centre for the control and coordination of issues on ceasefire and stabilization at the line of contact from December 19, 2017 (Soledar, Donetsk Oblast)
We consider this unprecedented step of Russia to be another provocation, which significantly undermines the Minsk agreements, and an attempt to exonerate itself, as a party to the conflict, from any responsibility for the consequences of the armed aggression against our state.
This step shows again that Moscow does not abandon its efforts to compel Ukraine and its international partners to begin so-called "direct dialogue" with militants of illegal armed formations operating in the temporarily occupied territory of the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine under total control of and with full support from the Russian Federation.
By its decision, the Kremlin considerably increases security risks for the OSCE SMM, including with the aim of imposing on Ukraine and its international partners an unacceptable option for deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas.
The Russian Federation, as a party to the conflict in Donbas, bears full responsibility for the development of the security situation and ensuring the safety of the OSCE SMM observers on the territory, temporarily uncontrolled by the Government of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian part of the JCCC will continue its activities as before, working with the OSCE SMM in a bilateral format, and making every possible effort to ensure the security of the Mission`s personnel when monitoring the situation in accordance with its mandate.
Ukraine appeals to international partners to step up political and diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin to avoid steps that could lead to break-down of the Minsk agreements.