German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed deep concern about the repeated violations of ceasefire in the east of Ukraine during the visit to the Italian town of Assisi .
“Ukraine concerns us, and in the ‘Normandy Format’ that unites Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, we try to get the Minsk Agreements implemented. But ceasefire is violated every day; people are dying every day,” she said.
Merkel arrived in Assisi to receive the Franciscan order’s “Lamp of Peace” award for seeking the peaceful coexistence of peoples. This traditional award is unofficially known as the Catholic Nobel Peace Prize.
On March 26, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Donbas declared an open-ended, sustainable and unlimited ceasefire starting from March 30 on the eve of Easter. The ceasefire was violated within the first few minutes and has been constantly violated ever since.
The armed conflict in the Donbas has continued since 2014 after the Russian annexation of the Crimea. Ukraine and the West accused Russia of supporting pro-Russian militants in the Donbas. The Kremlin rejected the accusations, stating that any Russian servicemen in the Donbas were volunteers. According to the UN, over ten thousand people died during the conflict.