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VIENNA, July 18 /TASS/. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has no evidence to confirm the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) allegations that a SMM employee could spy for Ukraine’s Security Service, the SMM wrote on its page in Facebook on Monday.
"The Mission takes such allegations seriously; however, at this moment we have no evidence to support these claims. As such, the SMM will not comment on these allegations at the moment but it is reviewing the situation," the SMM said.
Earlier on Monday, the Russian Federal Security Service reported that Artyom Shestakov, a Ukraine Security Service agent, had been detained in the territory of Russia. The FSB claimed that Shestakov, who worked as an interpreter for the OSCE SMM in Lugansk, collected military information for Ukrainian security services. He was allowed to return to Ukraine because his activities had not damaged Russia’s security interests.
"The SMM is a civilian mission, with a mandate that does not include any intelligence gathering activity. The SMM aims to reduce tensions and facilitate dialogue between all the sides, to gather information and report on the security situation in the country and on the compliance or violation of the Minsk agreements on a daily basis. The OSCE SMM is a civilian monitoring mission, which operates on the principals of transparency and impartiality," the SMM said in its report.
"Any serious violation of the Code of Conduct, to which all mission members agree when they join the organization, leads to an immediate dismissal of the member of the mission. On rare occasions, we have already taken such decisions, and if required in future we will do so again," the SMM said.
Presently, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine includes international monitors originating from more than 45 countries, as well as 305 national staff.