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OSCE mission in Donbass accuses both sides of limiting access to disengagement areas

October 10, 17:39 UTC+3 KIEV
Earlier on Monday, the DPR’s Defense Ministry announced that its de-miners had begun to clear mines from the Petrovskoye settlement area
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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

KIEV, October 10. /TASS/. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Donbass has accused the Ukrainian military and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) of restricting its access to the areas where the disengagement process was being conducted. The mission’s statement was published on its Facebook page on Monday.

"Today again only limited access for OSCE SMM to the Pervomaisk/Zolote and Petrivske/Bohdanivka disengagement areas - the Ukrainian Armed Forces, LPR, DPR have failed to guarantee SMM’s security (possible mines)," the statement says. The mission stressed that "SMM is ready/able to monitor, but needs access."

Besides that, the mission noted that "JCCC (Joint Center for Control and Coordination) should assist in ensuring safe and unhindered access for SMM, and co-ordinate demining." The OSCE SMM also reported that at the moment ground patrols were being conducted only in the daytime for security reasons.

Earlier on Monday, the DPR’s Defense Ministry announced that its de-miners had begun to clear mines from the Petrovskoye settlement area.

On September 21, at a meeting in Minsk, representatives of the parties to the conflict signed a framework disengagement agreement which stipulates the establishment of pilot security zones in three areas: near the Zolotoye settlement and Stanitsa Luganskaya in the LPR and the Petrovskoye settlement in the DPR. The disengagement process was scheduled to begin on October 1 but on that day Ukraine’s representatives conveyed through the Joint Center for Control and Coordination they were not ready to withdraw their troops from Stanitsa Luganskaya. After that, the disengagement date for Stanitsa Luganskaya has been postponed three times but the disengagement still hasn’t been conducted.

Meanwhile, the disengagement process has successfully been concluded near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye.

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