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Russian envoy calls on Ukraine to stop pressuring OSCE observers in Donbass

The diplomat informed that despite the existing ceasefire, the mission’s observers continue to work in very difficult conditions

VIENNA, September 5. /TASS/. Russia calls on Ukraine to stop the attempts to threaten and exert pressure on observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said during a session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

"We call on the Ukrainian side to refrain from threatening and exerting pressure on the mission or attempting to affect the functioning of its equipment," Lukashevich said.

The diplomat informed that despite the existing ceasefire, the mission’s observers continue to work in very difficult conditions. In the last two weeks, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have made direct attempts to interfere with the monitoring process, which threatened the lives and safety of the observers. Lukashevich also condemned the attacks of the Ukrainian military on SMM patrols in the Kominternovo settlement on September 1 and 4.

On July 17, members of the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine declared an indefinite ceasefire in Donbass starting on July 21. The ceasefire agreement particularly includes the parties’ obligations to take additional measures to ensure the ceasefire, which is what the Donbass republics had called for. The agreement particularly emphasizes the need to abandon offensive and reconnaissance operations, as well as the deployment of heavy weapons to settlements, particularly to civilian infrastructure facilities, including schools, kindergartens and hospitals.

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