Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan stated this in Kyiv on Thursday, the press service of the OSCE SMM reported.
"Civilian workers maintaining the Donetsk Filtration Station and the civilian monitoring officers from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) currently facilitating their access must be protected," Apakan said.
The chief monitor noted with concern the continued failure to abide by the Minsk agreements. He said sometimes hundreds of ceasefire violations have been recorded on a daily basis by the SMM in the wider area surrounding the Donetsk Filtration Station, endangering lives and jeopardizing the operation of the facility upon which more than 300,000 people on both sides of the contact line depend for drinking water.
These violations are being committed despite the security guarantees recently provided. Ertugrul Apakan stressed that the sides had committed to a cessation of fire as far back as September 2014, and had specifically reached an understanding last year that the Donetsk Filtration Station and other critical civilian infrastructure facilities must be protected.
While the SMM continues and stands ready to further facilitate dialogue, ultimately “responsibility rests exclusively with the sides to ensure the well-being of the civilian population,” the chief monitor said.
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