The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemned the limitations and the provocations towards the OSCE SMM observers from the Russian side and pro-Russian militants in Donbas. The press service of the Foreign Ministry reported this.
Foreign Ministry noted that the aim of the provocations is the cover-up of the Russian responsibility for the stirring of the conflict and blocking of the fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements.
‘The system limitations of the movement by the Russian hybrid forces are used when the OSCE SMM tries to reach the uncontrolled parts of the Russian-Ukrainian border. SMM informed about 40 cases during the reporting period of time. Such actions of Russia are the severe violation of the fourth article of the Minsk Protocol on the provision of the permanent monitoring at the Russian-Ukrainian state border and verification by the OSCE with the creation of the security zone in the border-straddling regions of Ukraine and Russia. They aim for the solid supply of the armament, ammunition and militants in the territory of Ukraine’, the ministry added.
The Foreign Ministry demanded from Russia to stop the intimidation of the OSCE SMM observers, refuse from the close zones for the observers and provide the safe and obstructed access of the OSCE SMM to the entire occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including the part of the Russian-Ukrainian Border that is temporary uncontrolled by Ukraine.
The OSCE SMM observers recorded about 480 cases of the interference for their movement in the first half of 2017. A few incidents connected with the attempts of the pro-Russian militants to prevent the OSCE SMM members from their work took place in Donbas in the recent time.
An armed man threatened the OSCE patrol with an assault rifle at the Bridge of Stanytsia Luhanska. The patrol was near the forward position of the LPR inside the demarcation zone. The observers were forced to leave this place.
The DPR militants shelled the OSCE drone at the observation flight over the territory that is under their control. The fire was opened from Pikuzy village that is in the buffer zone but is controlled by the illegal military formation since 2015. Moreover, the militants detained the patrol and threatened to confiscate the video from the drone that is the violation of the Minsk Agreements.
The DPR militants did not allow the OSCE observers to visit Novoazovsk that is near the border with Russia on August 10. The same day they shelled the part of the road to Mariupol which Hug was supposed to pass. The soldier of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was injured in the result of the attack.
However, the biggest incident is the explosion of the OSCE car in April 2017 in Luhansk region when one of the observers died.