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OSCE to Demand Unrestricted Access to All Regions in Eastern Ukraine

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OSCE observers in Donetsk - Sputnik International
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The OSCE stated that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission stands ready to monitor the implementation of a ceasefire in Ukraine, starting at midnight on February 15, to ensure the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday he would demand an emergency meeting of the European Council, if bilateral ceasefire is not implemented in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, according to a statement on the presidential website. - Sputnik International
Kiev to Demand EC Emergency Meeting if Sunday Ceasefire Deadline Not Met
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Monitors from OSCE Special Mission to Ukraine are planning to request secure and unrestricted access to all areas of eastern Ukraine to ensure the strict implementation of new Minsk peace agreements, the OSCE said in a statement on Friday.

"The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission stands ready to monitor the implementation of a ceasefire, and to engage with all sides that are entrusted to uphold the implementation of the peace agreement," a Joint Statement by OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan said.

"To effectively support the Minsk package, the Mission will require secure and unrestricted access to all areas of eastern Ukraine, including border regions," the document said.

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The leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia held a 16-hour summit in Minsk on Wednesday and early Thursday that resulted in a new political deal aimed at stopping the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine that has claimed lives of more than 5,400 people since April 2014.

The new agreement stipulates a ceasefire to begin at midnight on February 15, as well as a mutual withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides to create a security cushion in the conflict zone.

Earlier on Friday, Russian OSCE Ambassador Andrei Kelin said the three-party Contact Group along with the self-proclaimed eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics will develop new tasks for the OSCE to fulfill in line with the new ceasefire agreements. Specifically, the observers will now be monitoring the withdrawal of heavy weapons to the distance defined by the complex of measures agreed upon in Minsk.

Kelin also stated that the number of observers will increase from 230 to 350.

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