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MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) can visit the part of border with Russia not controlled by Kiev, Russian Ambassador to OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said.
The text of Lukashevich’s speech at the session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on Friday: "Observers regularly visit the part of the border not controlled by Kiev. SMM (Special Monitoring Mission) has visited border checkpoints Marinovka, Ulyanovskoye, Dolzhansky, Chervonopartizansk, Izvarino, Novoborovitsy and Uspenka this week. It did not find any military movements, but instead registered flows of peaceful Ukrainian civilians who entered the territory of the Russian Federation to buy food."
"This once again confirms the difficult situation for Donbass residents who were brought to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe by Kiev," Lukashevich noted.
"As for restricting the freedom of movement for observers, this happens on both sides of the contact line. On the territory controlled by Kiev, observers are restricted even by Ukrainian representatives of JCCC (Joint Center for Control and Coordination). On July 15 near Stanitsa Luganskaya, a Ukrainian officer from the Joint Center closed access to a bridge over the Seversky Donetsk river to observers ‘of certain nationalities’," the diplomat said.
Providing access to OSCE monitors in Donbass is envisaged by the Minsk accords signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. The package of measures also envisages ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.