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Illegal arms and explosives trade on the rise in Ukraine, says Russian OSCE envoy

Alexander Lukashevich calls on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine to monitor incidents like the street conflict that took place on June 8 in Kharkov and to reflect them in its reports

VIENNA, June 10. /TASS/. The illegal trade of arms and explosives in Ukraine is on the rise because of Kiev’s unwillingness to stop its military operation in Donbass, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said during the OSCE Permanent Council session in Vienna on Thursday.

"Kiev’s unwillingness to put an end to the military operation in the country’s east is leading to a general deterioration of the security situation across the entire country. The illegal trade of arms and explosives is on the rise," the Russian permanent representative said.

According to him, on June 8, a man previously involved in the Ukrainian military operation in Donbass set off a hand grenade in Kharkov during a street conflict. As a result, three people were injured, including a teenager. In this regard, Lukashevich called on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine to monitor such incidents closely and to reflect them in its reports.

"Weapons spread in the country not only from the zone of military action. <…> According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, in recent years, there have been from three to five million unaccounted weapons in the hands of Ukrainian citizens," he noted. On May 24, a Ukrainian citizen attempted to smuggle about 3,000 firearms from Romania to Ukraine, Lukashevich said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to request new arms shipments from its international partners, choosing to continue a military operation in Donbass instead of holding direct talks with regional representatives on political-diplomatic regulation of the conflict, the Russian diplomat stated.