The North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) allies and Ukraine will hold a special meeting in Brussels, Belgium, today to discuss the surge of violence by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Recent offensives and declarations by pro-Russian rebels have killed some 30 people in the port city of Mariupol and another seven Ukraine soldiers were killed and 24 wounded during rebel offensives in the past 24-hours.
While Russia has blamed Ukraine for the rebel-confessed new offensives, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged rebels to halt the attacks upon Mariupol and to abide by the ceasefire agreement signed last September at Minsk, Belarus. The German Chancellor's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, according to Reuters, told a Press conference in Berlin: "If we want to get out of this spiral of escalation and give diplomacy a chance, then it is absolutely crucial that above all, the pro-Russian separatists finally respect the cease fire.
So ahead of a meeting this Thursday between the foreign ministers of the European Union(EU) to discuss more sanctions on or the easing of sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukrainian conflict, NATO and Ukraine will sit today to formulate a counter to increase violence in Ukraine's east. And as they meet, separatists expansions will be continuing around Mariupol with heavy fighting around the town of Debaltseve signaling the intent of pro-Russian rebels to gain more territory from Ukraine.