Chief Monitor: OSCE SMM cannot become adjudicator in Donbas

Chief Monitor: OSCE SMM cannot become adjudicator in Donbas

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine is ready to support further co-ordination between the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine to reach a peaceful settlement, but the mission "cannot become an adjudicator."

“The SMM can support further co-ordination between the sides, under its dialogue facilitation function, if the sides so request. However, the SMM cannot become an adjudicator,” Yaşar Halit Çevik, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, addressed the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday.

He noted that the recent reduction in violence in Donbas, following the Trilateral Contact Group’s adoption of additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire, shows once again that “with political will, concrete results can be achieved on the ground.”

The Chief Monitor in particular noted that no civilians had been killed or injured because of shelling or small-arms fire after the measures came into effect on 27 July.

“Although somewhat improved since July, restrictions imposed by the armed formations on the contact line remain, which substantially hinder the movement of the Mission in areas not controlled by the Government,” Yaşar Halit Çevik said.

These restrictions, combined with persistent freedom-of-movement restrictions, mostly in areas not controlled by the Government, and repeated electronic interference with and live-fire targeting of SMM unmanned aerial, sufficiently impede Mission’s monitoring of and reporting on the security situation, he noted.

As reported, the Trilateral Contact Group agreed on July 22 to establish a full and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas from July 27.

In particular, it was agreed to ban offensive and reconnaissance operations, use of fire, including sniper fire, and to apply disciplinary measures for ceasefire violations.


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