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Foreign Secretary statement following increased fighting in eastern Ukraine

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has urged restraint following the recent escalation of fighting in eastern Ukraine, and expressed concern about the worsening humanitarian situation.

Recent days have seen a significant increase in fighting in the Donbas, particularly focused around the town of Avdiivka where the Ukrainians have declared a state of emergency.

The Foreign Secretary said:

Over the past few days we have seen a high number of casualties and the humanitarian situation has deteriorated drastically in Adviivka. Many civilians are without water, electricity and heating while outside temperatures are as low as -20 degrees.

The immediate priority must be security and a full sustained ceasefire, in line with the provisions of the Minsk agreements. I urge all parties to demonstrate restraint, and help facilitate crucial repairs to restore vital utilities and assist the vulnerable. Sanctions against Russia cannot be lifted until the Minsk commitments are fulfilled.

The UK continues to stand by Ukraine in full support of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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