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Moscow urges Kiev, militias to allow OSCE access to withdrawn weapons sites

March 13, 2015, 11:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian side also expects that in the near future the mission will be able to use additional technical means in full for monitoring and verifying the ceasefire regime and heavy weapons withdrawal
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. Moscow is concerned about the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) reports that Kiev forces are not allowing access to the places where the withdrawn weapons are stored, Russia’s envoy to the OSCE, Andrey Kelin, has said.

"We note with alarm that the SMM reports register a very high level of refusals of the Ukrainian troops to accept monitors’ requests on visits," Kelin told the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.

"The militias are much better cooperating with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)," Kelin said, noting that the Western partners prefer not to mention this.

The diplomat stressed that both sides should allow the SMM access to the sites.

"Today the major efforts of the mission should focus on an intensive patrolling and monitoring of the security zone," Kelin said. "This zone should be fully cleared from heavy weapons. As we understand, the SMM patrols in the Luhansk region do not find heavy weaponry," he said.

The Russian side also expects that in the near future the mission will be able to use additional technical means in full for monitoring and verifying the ceasefire regime and heavy weapons withdrawal as envisaged by the February 12 set of measures on implementing the Minsk agreements.

"We welcome the SMM efforts on strengthening local truces that allow carrying out works to restore infrastructure and mine clearance in the territory, as was the case in Kominternovo (village in Donetsk region). A stable ceasefire should be established across the Donbas territory," the diplomat stressed.

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