OSCE SMM urges to clear mines in Donbas, withdraw weapons - Apakan
Both sides take responsibility for violation the ceasefire, OSCE SMM Chief Monitor said
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in eastern Ukraine urged both sides of the conflict to clear mines and withdraw heavy weaponry from the demarcation line as soon as possible, said Chief Monitor of the Mission Ertugrul Apakan.
The official said this at the UN Security Council meeting held in New York on December 11.
Clearing mines should first of all take place in 5 areas of Donbas located close to objects of infrastructure, the official said. "That's the responsibility of both sides, according to the Minsk agreements", he said.
"The ceasefire is observed in general, but local shootouts take place, with both sides breaking silence. Small arms are mainly used, though heavy weapons are used as well. These violations get in the way of political settlement of the conflict", Apakan said. He insisted that both sides of the conlfict fully comply with the Minsk agreements. He added that the heavy weaponry is being withdrawn from the conflict area, but the process is currently too slow.
"OSCE SMM's key task is to facilitate political settlement of the crisis, so the Mission will use any means at its disposal", Apakan concluded.
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