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MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could visit east Ukraine’s encircled town of Debaltsevo soon, a senior official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Wednesday.
"Gunfire and explosions are still heard in Debaltsevo, but I think the OSCE mission could visit the town soon," said Maxim Leschenko, head of the leader’s administration of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
The OSCE special monitoring mission (SMM) to Ukraine said on Tuesday it was ready to go to Debaltsevo, but was still unable to reach the town, surrounded by local militia.
OSCE mission chief Ertugrul Apakan called on Kiev and representatives of east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic to halt fire and facilitate monitors’ access to the area.
"We insist that they immediately cease the offensive. We insist upon unfettered access to Debaltsevo and to the full security zone," Apakan said. "The SMM will return to Soledar on February 18 and will travel from there to Debaltsevo as soon as the sides can confirm to each other their intention to honour the ceasefire agreement. Failure to do so will have grave consequences," he added.