WELLINGTON – The New Zealand government Monday condemned the latest violence in eastern Ukraine and called on Russia to use its influence to restrain separatists, reports Xinhua news agency.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully (pic) said the killing of up to 30 civilians over the weekend was completely unacceptable.
“In particular, reports of indiscriminate shelling of residential areas in the city of Mariupol are deeply concerning,” McCully said in a statement.
“New Zealand considers such actions to be reprehensible, and calls on all parties in Ukraine to respect international humanitarian law.”
New Zealand was particularly concerned that the conflict continued in the face of the Minsk agreements signed in September last year.
“We call on all parties to implement fully their commitments under these agreements, including an immediate cessation of hostilities,” said McCully.
“We also call on Russia to use the diplomatic and other tools it has available to ensure that the separatists respect any ceasefire.”
Last week, New Zealand had voiced its concerns to the United Nations Security Council that the violence in Ukraine was escalating at an alarming rate and the Mariupol incident confirmed “a disastrous downward spiral.”
“New Zealand has consistently called on the Security Council to play a leadership role on this matter. I have asked our Permanent Representative in New York to reiterate to the Security Council that it needs to live up to its responsibilities under the UN Charter, and focus on what it can do to support a resolution to the conflict,” he said. – Bernama