The blocking of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Donetsk and Horlivka is a continuation of Russia’s systemic policy of marginalizing the OSCE and “blinding” the SMM in the region.
According to a Ukrinform correspondent, this was said by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to international organizations in Vienna Yevhen Tsymbalyuk during the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday in Vienna.
“Let’s be honest, what we have seen these days in occupied Horlivka and Donetsk is nothing more than a continuation of Russia’s systemic policy of marginalizing the OSCE and blinding the SMM in the region,” he said.
The Ukrainian ambassador reminded that earlier in September, Russia suspended the work of the OSCE observation mission at two checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border. The Russian occupation administration also imposed artificial restrictions under the pretext of a pandemic-19, as a result of which the CM continues to operate as two separate organizations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In addition, the Mission’s patrols face systematic denials of access to border areas, unwarranted inspections, and SMM drones are “silenced”. “The goal is clear – to hide the transfer of weapons, ammunition and troops from Russia to Ukraine,” – said Tsymbalyuk.
In his speech, the head of the Ukrainian mission to the OSCE also informed foreign delegations about the information about the preservation on October 13 at the site of the separation of forces in the Golden Armed Forces from among the Russian forces. He added that a group of three militants, having put on the SCCC bandages and declared their intention to demine, actually carried out reconnaissance of the left positions of the Armed Forces. “And this is a clear example of how Russia acts as a security guarantee provided to Ukraine, as well as how abuse mechanisms are used to cover up Russia’s illegal activities in the region, which were developed primarily to facilitate the ceasefire,” Tsymbalyuk said.
According to the Ukrainian ambassador, this was also a gross violation. Additional measures to strengthen the regime do not allow fire from July 22, 2020, which prohibit further, reconnaissance and sabotage operations.
“After numerous demands to stop the violation of one of the participants, with a loaded weapon in his hands, the group was detained. As it turned out, the detainee has been taking part in hostilities against the Armed Forces since 2014. Is that how the Russian armed forces respect the measures taken to strengthen the regime of further fire? ”The formation of Ukraine’s mission to the OSCE revealed.
Stressing that Ukraine remains committed to Minsk relations and is ready to discuss with Russia further steps for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the TCG, as well as in the “Norman format”, Tsymbalyuk reminded that the TCG is created from Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the OSCE. In addition, he pointed out that the Joint Control and Coordination Center (JCCC) also consists only of representatives of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
The Head of the Mission of Ukraine called the forcible detention of SM observers in hotels in Horlivka and Donetsk “a shocking and unacceptable violation of the Mission’s mandate and the Minsk Agreements” as a reaction of the Russian occupation administration to detain a member of the NPF near Zolotye. He pointed out that the organized meeting of the hotel in Donetsk was also well supported by the fact that “it was planned in advance.”
“It cannot be justified for intimidation and provocation against SMM observers. Their security, immunity and privileges must be fully respected, “Tsymbalyuk stressed.
According to Ukrinform, the Russian occupation administration has been holding a “protest” in front of the hotel where the OSCE SMM members are staying since October 15, criticizing the Mission’s activities, especially regarding the support of the Russian Armed Forces on October 13 by a Russian citizen. This meeting prevented any movement of patrols to and from the premises.
On October 17, Russian militants blocked the exit from the OSCE SMM Patrol Base in temporarily occupied Gorlovka and banned them from watching the hotel. The blockade was lifted only in the afternoon of October 18.