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OSCE calls on parties to Ukrainian conflict to guarantee safety of OSCE monitors

July 28, 2015, 20:10 UTC+3 VIENNA

The statement follows a recent series of incidents when OSCE monitors came under shelling in Donbas

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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

VIENNA, July 28. /TASS/. Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ivica Dacic has once again called on all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to ensure safety of OSCE monitors and guarantee their free access movement across the country.

"All sides on the ground in eastern Ukraine are obliged under their commitments to the Minsk Agreements to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of the SMM," he said on Tuesday following a recent series of incidents when monitors of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine came under shelling in Donbas.

"I am alarmed and deeply concerned by the incidents in Shchastia on 26 July and Shyrokino on 27 July, especially when it appears our unarmed, civilian monitors were targeted," Dacic said. "I commend the bravery and diligence that monitors and staff of the SMM show every day in their work in increasingly difficult circumstances. I strongly condemn any incidents or actions that hamper the SMM’s work."

He said an OSCE monitor who had been wounded in the leg was already released from hospital.

"The OSCE is the only organization that can monitor the security situation and verify the withdrawal of heavy weapons in a credible manner with the aim of de-escalating and normalising the situation on the ground," he stressed. "All sides have an obligation to support the OSCE’s efforts and to continue work on a political process towards ending the deadly cycle of violence."

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