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East Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk republic warns OSCE against visiting Debaltsevo

February 18, 2015, 8:21 UTC+3

No one can give security guarantees to observers of the OSCE

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Ukrainian artillery in the area of Debaltsevo

Ukrainian artillery in the area of Debaltsevo

© AP Photo/Petr David Josek

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Authorities of Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) warned observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) against visiting Debaltsevo, a site of fierce fighting between government forces and self-defense militia, the republic’s representative at the Contact Group Denis Pushilin said commenting on the problem around access of the OSCE mission to Debaltsevo.

"We have warned OSCE, saying the Debaltsevo region is still dangerous for visiting, and said DPR in case the mission visits Debaltsevo would not be able to guarantee security," the Donetsk news agency quoted him as saying.

Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE Andrey Kelin said on the Rossiya 24 TV channel Tuesday monitors are asking for security guarantees in Debaltsevo in the Donetsk Region from all parties to the Ukrainian conflict, but no one can give them yet. He also disclaimed the militia would not allow the monitors enter Debaltsevo.

The defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic reports about 5,000 Kiev’s military are encircled in the area of Debaltsevo. The ministry said the republic’s divisions would not give in to provocations while Ukraine’s armed forces are pulling heavy weapons to Debaltsevo in order to unblock the encircled military.

On February 12, members of the Trilateral Contact Group on the Ukrainian conflict settlement signed a four-page set of measures to implement the earlier Minsk agreements.

The document was signed by OSCE Special Representative Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s second President Leonid Kuchma, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, as well as leaders of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky. The first point of the document sets condition for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire beginning at midnight (Kiev time) on February 15, 2015. The conflicting parties agreed on withdrawal of all heavy weapons. Parties are to pullback all heavy weapons to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometres wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and the Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.

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