MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) failed to give an adequate response to regular cross-border shelling of Russian territory by Ukraine, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.
“OSCE observers have failed to give an adequate appraisal to regular shelling of Russian border territories from Ukraine," spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
“Of particular concern are numerous reports about the use of indiscriminate weapons by Ukrainian law-enforcement bodies in southeastern cities and the deliberate destruction of vital infrastructure objects. Nonetheless, they are being ignored by OSCE monitors," he added.
The Russian border crossing of Novoshakhtinsk and the Ukrainian Dolzhansky checkpoint adjacent to Russia’s southern region of Rostov have been shelled several times in past weeks, resulting in ammunition exploding at Novoshakhtinsk, damaging a bus station and one of the customs terminals.
Last month, Russia’s Border Guard Service in the Rostov Region near Ukraine’s Luhansk province said that a shell fired from Ukrainian territory had damaged the Gukovo checkpoint, while two more rounds exploded near the villages of Vasetsky and Shakhta-24. There were no reports of casualties.
In response to the incidents, Moscow filed a protest note to Kiev demanding an immediate explanation and investigation. Kiev said that the Ukrainian Army was not responsible for shelling Russian territory.
Lukashevich said Russia agreed to international monitoring of its border with Ukraine if a truce and ceasefire is reached in Ukraine's southeastern regions. An OSCE monitoring mission would be placed along the border and militia at checkpoints, controlled by local defense forces, would accompany the observers.
The OSCE has been monitoring the situation in violence-hit Donetsk and Luhansk for several months already, although their number was recently reduced due to the “highly volatile situation” and multiple detentions of its monitors. Moscow encouraged the OSCE mission to continue in eastern Ukraine to keep a record of what is actually happening in the troubled regions.
Kiev authorities launched a special military operation in the east of Ukraine in mid-April in a crackdown on the independence movement. Hundreds of people, including civilians have died in both regions over the past few months.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also urged the international community to intervene and investigate the crimes against humanity that occurred in Ukraine in recent months.