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Kutz calls on parties to Ukrainian conflict to stop intimidating monitors

March 16, 2017, 4:00 UTC+3 VIENNA

"Our monitors are recording around a thousand ceasefire violations every day in eastern Ukraine." he said

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© AP Photo/Ronald Zak

VIENNA, March 16. /TASS/. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kutz on Wednesday called on the parties to the Ukrainian conflict to comply with their commitments on withdrawal of weapons and forces in Donbass and not to hinder the work of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine.

"Our monitors are recording around a thousand ceasefire violations every day in eastern Ukraine. Most of the explosions are caused by heavy weapons that should have been removed two years ago," he said in a statement over the current escalation of tension in Donbass.

He strongly urged on the parties to the conflict and all those who can influence them to implement their commitments of ceasefire, ultimately pull out prohibited weapons and provide reliable information about their locations.

He noted that OSCE monitors continue to observe heavy weapons in disengagement areas that have been previously agreed. "This is dangerous and a sign of bad faith," he stressed.

SMM monitors have the right to safe access throughout entire Ukraine to fulfil their mandate, Kutz said, adding that in the recent time there have been a growing number of incidents when they are intimidates, deprived of access and freedom of movement and when their activities are hampered by means of creating obstacles and damaging aerial vehicles.

"Threatening unarmed civilian monitors and damaging OSCE assets is unacceptable. Those responsible must be held accountable," Kurz underscored.

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