Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the situation in the eastern part of the country. The Vice President strongly condemned the violation of the ceasefire by separatist forces acting in concert with Russian forces, in and around the town of Debaltseve. The leaders both noted the ceasefire violation was confirmed by the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Vice President also strongly condemned Russia and the separatists for blocking access to Debaltseve by OSCE monitors, which is allowing the separatists to continue their attacks without inhibition. The Vice President agreed with President Poroshenko that if Russia continues to violate the Minsk agreements, including the most recent agreement signed on February 12, the costs to Russia will rise.