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Kiev not committed to ceasefire liabilities - Russian OSCE envoy

December 27, 2015, 22:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Alexander Lukashevich said any ceasefire violation in the buffer zone along the line of engagement could trigger very serious consequences, up to resumption of hostilities
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Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich

Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Today’s shelling of a group of Russian journalists and monitors of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) by Ukrainian troops near the village of Kominternovo in Donbass proves that Kiev is not committed to its ceasefire liabilities, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Sunday.

"Today’s incident only proves that the Ukrainian military have no intention to observe the Minsk agreements," he said in an interview with the LifeNews television channel. "And judging by Kiev’s policy, one might have an impression that Ukraine is not committed to real ceasefire."

He said any ceasefire violation in the buffer zone along the line of engagement could trigger very serious consequences, up to resumption of hostilities.

The defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Sunday OSCE SMM monitors, representatives of the Joint Coordination Centre for Ceasefire Monitoring in Donbass, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin and a video crew of Russia’s VGTRK broadcaster had come under sniper fire near Kominternovo.

According to the Russian journalists, fire had first been opened from firearms and after they and the OSCE monitors had left the village mortar fire was opened.

Later in the day, the OSCE confirmed the incident.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

On Tuesday, December 22, the Trilateral Contact Group meeting in the Belarusian capital city Minsk yielded an agreement between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass to cease fire "fully and unconditionally" from 00:00 on December 23. However Ukrainian troops reportedly continue to violate ceasefire.

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