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    An OSCE monitor checks the territory for mines during a patrol in Shyrokyne, Donetsk region eastern Ukraine, Saturday, July 4, 2015

    OSCE Monitors Stopped at Ukrainian Military Checkpoint in Mandate Violation

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was stopped by Ukrainian Armed Forces in the country’s troubled southeast, in violation of the mission’s mandate.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) – The monitoring mission is monitoring the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement in Ukraine.

    "While at the Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near government-controlled Dzerzhynsk (41km north of Donetsk), checkpoint personnel inspected the interior of the SMM’s vehicles and asked the SMM whether Russian Federation monitors were present," the SMM said in in its November 10 report, released on Wednesday.

    The report emphasized that continuing restrictions to the OSCE monitors’ freedom of movement in Ukraine do not allow the SMM to fulfill its mandate.

    "At the Ukrainian Armed Forces sector headquarters in Novhorodske (government-controlled, 34km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM met the area Deputy Commander, who told the SMM that it needs to obtain formal consent from the Ukrainian military authorities in order to be allowed to pass the last checkpoint in Verkhnotoretske (government-controlled, 21km north-east of Donetsk) into non-government-controlled areas," the SMM said.

    Apart from the above impediments, Ukrainian Armed Forces denied the SMM access to a permanent storage site and another fenced facility in the Lugansk area, the report said.

    Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions were targeted by Kiev’s special military operation in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.

    In February 2015, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the two sides in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

    The OSCE has been tasked with monitoring the implementation of all provisions of the Minsk peace deal, which include a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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