Illegal armed groups interfered with the OSCE SMM patrols seven times. This was reported on the Joint Forces Operations page on Facebook.
“In a daily report dated December 24, 2019, the OSCE SMM informs about 6 cases of refusal and 1 case of delay of the Mission patrols in access to territories uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government. Representatives of the armed forces of the Russian Federation refused the Mission patrol to travel to the temporarily occupied territory near Razdolne, Petrovske, Primorske, Bezymyanne, Novoazovsk and Zaichenko in the south of Donetsk region," the message said.
Reportedly, at a checkpoint west of the Verkhneshirokovske settlement, representatives of armed groups again detained the Mission patrol for 17 minutes.
"The Ukrainian side of the joint center for monitoring and coordinating ceasefire and stabilizing the demarcation line of the parties draws the attention of the representatives of the armed forces of the Russian Federation to the inadmissibility of actions to impede the fulfillment of the Mission’s mandate by the representatives of the OSCE SMM," the headquarters said.
The headquarters reminded that the mandate of the SMM implies free and safe access for the OSCE SMM representatives throughout Ukraine. All signatories of the Set of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements agreed on the need for free and safe access, as well as the fact that restricting the freedom of movement of the SMM is a violation.