EU accuses Ukraine separatists of violating ceasefire, threatens action

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini accused pro-Russian separatists on Wednesday of violating the Ukraine ceasefire with their actions in the besieged town of Debaltseve and said the EU was ready to take “appropriate action” if fighting continued.

“The actions by the Russia-backed separatists in Debaltseve are a clear violation of the ceasefire,” Mogherini said in a statement.

“The separatists must stop all military activities. Russia and the separatists have to immediately and fully implement the commitments agreed to in Minsk, in line with yesterday’s U.N. Security Council resolution, starting with the respect of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of all heavy weapons.”

“The EU stands ready to take appropriate action in case the fighting and other negative developments in violation of the Minsk agreements continue,” she said, an apparent threat of further sanctions.

Reporting by Adrian Croft; editing by Robin Emmott