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Ukraine: the President concerned by the humanitarian consequences of the conflict

 "I am gravely concerned by what continues to develop in Ukraine and its borders," Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said today.

"Yesterday it was the killing of two journalists in a mortar attack, at the weekend it was 49 people killed when a plane was shot down. There are now reports of a steady stream of IDPs and refugees seeking to escape the conflict. There are reports of abductions, hostage taking of children, civilians and OSCE monitors and allegation of atrocities being leveled at all sides," she added.

"Let there be no misunderstanding of the seriousness of the situation. All sides must step back from the brink, show restraint and avoid provocation. I welcome that President Poroshenko and President Putin discussed the situation last night. We need a political breakthrough to stop violence. We need to tackle the worsening humanitarian consequences."

"The June Part Session of the Assembly next week will be an opportunity to look into the crisis further," Ms Brasseur concluded.