The United States welcomes the agreement reached today in Minsk by the OSCE-led Trilateral Contact Group, which was endorsed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France. The agreement represents a potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty consistent with the Minsk agreements from last September. We especially appreciate the tireless efforts of German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande to reach this new accord. We call on all parties to carry out the commitments undertaken in today’s accord and the September agreements fully and without delay. This agreement must now be followed by immediate, concrete steps to fulfill the commitments by all parties. The cease-fire must be implemented and honored. Heavy weapons must be withdrawn from the conflict zone, and Russia must end its support for the separatists and withdraw its soldiers and military equipment from eastern Ukraine. The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia. The United States is particularly concerned about the escalation of fighting today, which is inconsistent with the spirit of the accord.