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MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. Kiev’s accusations against Chief of Staff of the Russian mission at the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination (JCCC) Vladimir Cheban are absurd, Russian Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich has said at a meeting of the organization’s Permanent Council. The text of his speech has been posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry ‘s website on Friday.
"The establishment of a ceasefire and its subsequent stabilization is a key task now," the diplomat said. "This should be followed by disengagement of the warring parties, creation of demilitarized zones and guarantees that withdrawn weaponry does not return to the security zone again. It is important to make sure that the disengagement of the parties and demilitarization take place in strict accordance with the agreements and not the way it was in Shirokino." He added that "guarantees are required that these areas are not seized again after weapons withdrawal."
"We hope that the negotiations on these issues underway in the Contact Group’s security subgroup will make it possible to achieve real progress. High-level efforts by the "Normandy Four" member-countries should contribute to this as well," the ambassador said.
"In practical terms, the key role will be played by the JCCC and observers of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM). Unfortunately, the Ukrainian side is, in actual fact, ruining this important tool," Lukashevich said. "Russian officers are faced with many obstructions, Kiev demands that they are relocated to the territory controlled by militias."
"There are absurd and unsubstantiated accusations against Chief of Staff of the Russian representative at the JCCC Vladimir Cheban," he added.
The press service of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said earlier this week that Colonel Vladimir Cheban had been expelled from Ukraine "for actions running counter to national security interests and the Minsk accords", in particular, alleged "transfer of monthly schedules and flight routes of unmanned aerial vehicles of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to the Donetsk republic." The Russian officer is denied entry to Ukraine for a period of five years.