VILNIUS - Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius on Wednesday called on all sides to stop hostilities in Eastern Ukraine to avoid a humanitarian crisis, but at the same time underlined that the main responsibility for the conflict lies with Russia.
He said after discussing the escalating situation with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin by telephone.
In Linkevicius' words, the fighting must stop to allow restoring the supply of power and heating to the town of Avdiivka. He said that the Ukrainian minister had told him that Russia-backed separatists were refusing to cease the hostilities.
"We must ensure that the fighting stops so that repairers have access to Avdiivka and can create the conditions for people to survive in the cold. When there is a humanitarian crisis, all (sides) must pause. The Ukrainians say that the other side does not agree to do so," the Lithuanian minister told BNS.
"Provocations must be avoided and everyone must be reminded that the Minsk agreements apply to all (sides)," he added.
Linkevicius stressed that "Russia is the cause of the conflict and aggression". In his words, it is the responsibility of Moscow-backed separatists to ensure that OSCE observers have access to the area.