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EU to hold emergency talks about escalating Russian aggression in Ukraine

Following yesterday’s attack on Mariupol and the escalation of violence in the Donbas Federica Mogherini, High Representative for EU Foreign Affairs, has decided to convene an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council this coming Thursday, 29 January.

She has spoken on the phone to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, They discussed the deteriorating situation on the ground in Eastern Ukraine and the possible means to address the situation. They agreed to stay in close contact in the coming hours.

Today she spoke to Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, conveying the messages from her yesterday’s statement . Mogherini said to Lavrov “Residential areas of the city of Mariupol have been fired upon today from separatist held territory, which has cost the lives of at least fifteen civilians, wounding many others and terrorising the innocent population. This comes after a series of indiscriminate attacks in the Donbas in the past few days, accompanied by the announcements of further offensives by Russia-backed separatists, who bluntly refuse to observe the cease fire.

This further escalation of the open armed conflict has tragic consequences for a population greatly suffering already for far too long. It would inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia.  I call therefore openly upon Russia to use its considerable influence over separatist leaders and to stop any form of military, political or financial support. This would prevent disastrous consequences for all. Those responsible for the escalation must stop their hostile actions and live up to their commitments.”

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