Russia has been an instigator and the steersman of the armed hostilities in Donbas. This is mentioned in the statement released by Harry Kamian, the U.S. envoy in the OSCE.
'With growing concern, we have watched the security situation around the Donetsk Filtration Station deteriorate over the past few weeks. The conflict jeopardizes the supply of clean water, and subjects thousands to the risk of inhaling poisonous chlorine gas stored at the station. It is unconscionable that the SMM continues to record regular ceasefire violations in the area, forcing station employees to hide in an underground shelter, less than two weeks after five employees were shot while leaving their shift. 350,000 people on both sides of the line of contact depend on the Donetsk Filtration Station for clean water. Both sides must uphold the security guarantees they provided on April 22. We again call on Russia to rejoin the JCCC without further delay', Kamian said.
'The instigator and driver of this four-year-old conflict is Russia. Its claim that it is not a party to the conflict is laughable. The tragic toll of over 10,300 killed, and 25,000 wounded, is the direct result of Russia’s deliberate aggression, and Moscow’s continued military, political, and financial backing of proxies in eastern Ukraine. In deliberate disregard of yet another in a long series of ceasefire agreements, Russia continues to fight, despite the Easter recommitment to the ceasefire. Between April 24 and 26, Ukrainian forces suffered more casualties than in any 72-hour period since July 2017', the official went on.
He added the U.S. has no doubts Russia is directly involved in the conflict.
Earlier, OSCE extended the mandate of the special monitoring mission at Gukovo and Donetsk border checkpoints in Russia.