21:59 02.08.2017

Disengagement in Donbas possible only after ensuring 24-hour OSCE monitoring

3 min read
Disengagement in Donbas possible only after ensuring 24-hour OSCE monitoring

Ukraine insists that further disengagement of forces and weapons in Donbas should be carried out only after the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (SMM OSCE) has begun round-the-clock monitoring of the situation using technical tools, Darka Olifer, press secretary for Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine's representative in the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, said.

"There is the issue of ensuring SMM OSCE monitoring of the situation in Donbas round the clock, seven days a week, with the use of technical surveillance systems, after which further disengagement of forces and weapons will be ensured at the agreed-upon sites," Olifer wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday after the group's meeting in Minsk.

This is Ukraine's initiative, she told Kyiv-based Interfax agency. "During the disengagement of forces and weapons, representatives from the separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions must not install additional fortifications and minefields," Olifer said.

Ukraine is also calling for the SMM to be given access to the Ukrainian-Russian border in Donbas, which is currently being hindered by representatives from the breakaway parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Olifer wrote on Facebook later.

"Representatives from the separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are blocking SMM OSCE access to a Ukrainian-Russian border site. Together with the OSCE, we are calling for this access to be unblocked and for the mission's control to be provided both over movement of weapons and troops from Russia to separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and to prevent the equipment of Ukrainian enterprises from being removed from the part of Donbas not controlled by Ukraine," Olifer said.

Ukraine insists on completion of the inquiry and prosecution of the people responsible for the death of the SMM employee, a United States citizen, who was killed in a mine explosion in the occupied part of Luhansk region in April, the spokeswoman said.

"The threats and violence against the monitors, which continue taking place in the separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, are outrageous and unacceptable. We called for completion of the inquiry and punishment of those responsible for the death in the separate district of Luhansk region of an SMM employee who was a U.S. citizen," Olifer said.

Kyiv also demands that the persons, who were holding the SMM staff for over seven hours in Olenivka a day earlier, be held to account, she said. "We categorically condemn this impermissible and outrageous fact," Olifer said.

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