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Foreign Secretary condemns Russian-backed separatist attacks in Mariupol, Ukraine

Foreign Secretary condemns the killing of at least 30 civilians in Mariupol by separatists and calls for attacks to stop.

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said yesterday:

I condemn in the strongest terms yesterday’s Russian-backed separatist attacks in Mariupol killing at least 30 innocent civilians, including children, and wounding many others. My thoughts are with the victims and their friends and families.

I am deeply concerned about the significant escalation in violence in east Ukraine over the past week. Recent announcements by the separatist leaders of further offensives, and their blatant refusal to abide by the ceasefire, raise serious questions about the commitments they made at Minsk.

I call on Russia to stop its material support to the separatists immediately, and use its considerable influence over the separatist leadership to stop these indiscriminate attacks, and fully abide by the commitments they made at Minsk.

Russia will be judged by its actions, not words. If the escalation in fighting continues, with tragic consequences for the local population, this will lead to a further grave deterioration in relations between the EU and Russia.

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