Russia trying to minimize presence of OSCE mission in Donbas - EU

Russia trying to minimize presence of OSCE mission in Donbas - EU

The European Union is concerned troubled by Russia's actions to minimize the presence of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the non-government-controlled areas of Ukraine.

That's according to the EU statement on "Russia's Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea," which was read out at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"We are also troubled by Russia's continued actions to minimize the presence of the SMM in the non-government controlled areas of Ukraine. We read with concern the lately very frequent SMM Spot Reports about how the Russia-backed armed formations have prevented the Mission members from crossing the contact line on multiple occasions into the Luhansk region and on two occasions into the Donetsk region of Ukraine," the statement said.

The EU echoed the condemnation made by the Chairperson-in-Office and the Secretary General of the recent systematic and unacceptable obstruction to the SMM's work.

"The EU fully supports the SMM in implementing its important mandate and urges the Russian Federation to take up its responsibility and to ensure that all restrictions to the SMM's work are lifted immediately," the statement said.

Separately, the EU said that the permanent monitoring of the Ukraine-Russia state border currently not under control by the Ukrainian government and verification by the OSCE, including the establishment of security zones in the Ukrainian and Russian border areas, is an important provision of the Minsk agreements.

The EU said it is therefore regrettable that Russia did not engage in the discussions on the draft Ministerial decision on this topic, put forward by 37 participating States. "The adoption of such a decision would have allowed for further progress in the conflict resolution process," the statement said.


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