Lithuanian Foreign Minister faces mortar fire during visit to Ukraine

Linas Linkevičius in Ukraine (with sunglasses)

“We were watching the situation and eating porridge with troops in Shyrokin when mortars were fired. Several of them exploded some 300 meters from the delegation,” Linkevičius told BNS Lithuania by phone from Mariupol on Wednesday night.

“It’s not happening in a movie, it’s happening in reality. This is the reality of Ukrainian troops,” the minister added.

In his words, Ukrainian troops did not respond to the incident.

There’s a combat front near Shyrokin where clashes between Russia-supported separatists and Ukrainian government forces take place.

On Wednesday, Linkevicius met with troops serving in eastern Ukraine, OSCE observers, Mariupol students and the city’s authorities.

“The fact is that these shooting incidents happen regularly. I was once again persuaded that until there’s no progress in the area of ensuring security, it’s too soon to speak about the implementation of other points of the Minsk agreement,” Linkevicius said.

In his words, it would be illogical to hasten elections in separatist-controlled territories until there’s no Ukrainian influence and control left there.

Elections pursuant to Ukrainian laws in Donetsk and Luhansk areas are stipulated in the second Minsk agreement.

The war between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces has been taking place for almost two years

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