US, EU, Ukraine at OSCE: SMM should obtain access to Crimea

US, EU, Ukraine at OSCE: SMM should obtain access to Crimea

Ukrinform
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine should obtain full and unimpeded access to Crimea which is currently occupied by Russia.

The delegation of the US, the EU and Ukraine made corresponding statements during the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on February 6, an Ukrinform own correspondent reported.

"The SMM should obtain safe, unconditional and unimpeded access to the entire territory of Ukraine in accordance with its mandate. This also applies to the illegally annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as the Ukrainian-Russian state border, the access to which is systematically restricted by Russian-backed armed formations," reads the statement of the EU delegation.

Permanent Representative of the United States to OSCE James S. Gilmore emphasized in his speech that “Russia impedes the work of the Special Monitoring Mission by denying it access to Crimea and restricting the movement of the Monitors on the ground.”

“Ambassador Çevik, the United States would welcome additional reporting from the SMM regarding the situation in Crimea, as well as the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” Gilmore said, addressing Ambassador Yaşar Halit Çevik, the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk reminded in his speech that the OSCE SMM mandate covered the entire Ukraine and it was not enough to monitor the checkpoints between Kherson and Crimea.

“The ground patrols must try to reach the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. If such access is denied by the Russian Federation as an occupying power, this should be reported, again in full accordance with the SMM mandate,” he said.

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