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MOSCOW, June 4 /TASS/. Andrei Kelin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, noted the worsening security situation in Ukraine’s Donbas region.
"The security situation has really become worse in recent days. This is imposing some restrictions on the monitoring work. Civilians are suffering from shellings, and there are stricter rules of working with civilians than with the military," Kelin said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television news channel on Wednesday.
"Unfortunately, today we can speak about rather broad escalation of shootings. But on the whole, I would not describe the situation as absolutely critical. The intensity of shooting and clashes is far from being as strong as it used to be early this year or in autumn last year. The number of skirmishes have increased in the past few days. This dangerous trend may develop further," the Russian diplomat stressed.
According to Kelin, there is a threat that local firefights can grow into head-on clashes. "The hardest and most terrible thing that can happen is if local skirmishes grow into head-on clashes on broad front. The main task of the contact and working groups today is to find a way out of this spiral to which the sides in conflict are driving themselves," Russia’s Permanent Representative to OSCE emphasized.
Kelin blamed the Ukrainian military for the escalation of tensions in Donbas. "Monitors cannot discover a huge number of heavy weapons missing in their zones," Kelin said adding that the Ukrainian military were putting up more obstacles to the OSCE monitors than the militias.
"Neither me nor my colleagues can think of a single reason why the militias could be interested in escalating the fighting," Kelin concluded.