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Russia’s envoy urges OSCE to monitor situation in Ukraine more closely

July 29, 2016, 15:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An envoy notes that the mission’s reports on mass rallies, the influence exerted by nationalists are fragmentary

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should follow the socio-economic situation not only in the Donbass region but in the rest of Ukraine as well, Russia’s OSCE Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich said at a meeting of the organization’s Permanent Council.

"We are drawing attention to the need to follow the situation in the rest of Ukraine (not only in the Donbass region - TASS) more closely," he said. "We have to state that this part of the SMM’s mandate is not fulfilled in full measure."

He noted that the mission’s reports on mass rallies and protests against the deterioration of the socio-economic situation, the influence exerted by nationalists on the political decision-making, the absence of results of the investigation into the May 2 tragedy in Odessa are fragmentary.

"What is needed is a comprehensive political and socio-economic analysis of the currrent trends in the Ukrainian society, because they affect the resolution of the conflict (in Donbass)," Lukashevich said. "It is also necessary to prepare reports on freedom of speech and journalists’ rights, the activities of radical and extremist organizations, citizens’ rights and freedom. The impartiality and a balanced approach to presenting information are the key factors for the reputation of the SMM and the OSCE as a whole."

"According to the estimates of the OSCE SMM, the number of indiscriminate attacks has grown significantly recently," he said. "There was an increase in the number of civilian casualties, many civilian infrastructure facilities were destroyed. From April to July 21 civilians were killed in Donbass, 43 others were injured. Every fifth school is destroyed. The populated localities controlled by the militia are shelled from Ukrainian army positions almost daily."

"Under these circumstances, we call on the SMM to enhance its monitoring activities on both sides of the contact line," Lukashevich said. "It is necessary to bring into force the mission’s available early warning opportunities to the full extent."

"The SMM must not miss the beginning of hostilities," the ambassador went to say. In his view, it is necessary "to organize the permanent monitoring in trouble spots by establishing round-the-clock stations." "That would be an important deterring factor opening up an opportunity for promptly promoting local ceasefires," Lukashevich said. "We call on the SMM to prepare a separate report on the humanitarian effects of artillery bombardments of settlements and infrastructure facilities."

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