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Statement by the MFA of Ukraine in connection with the denial of access of the OSCE SMM monitors to the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine
25 March 2020 14:27

The MFA of Ukraine condemns the actions of the representatives of the Russian occupation authorities in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas who since 21 March have been blocking access to the abovementioned territories for the patrols of the OSCE SMM.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemns the actions of the representatives of the Russian occupation authorities in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions who since 21 March have been blocking access to the abovementioned territories for the patrols of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) to exercise the monitoring activity within the mandate approved by the OSCE Permanent Council. The mentioned facts are recorded in the relevant reports by the OSCE SMM.

Such actions of the occupation administration of the Russian Federation constitute a clear violation of the OSCE SMM mandate, contradict Minsk agreements, as well as the Commonly agreed conclusions of the Paris Summit in the Normandy format of 9 December 2019, according to which the SMM shall have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine in order to fully implement its mandate.

The restriction of the OSCE SMM access to the TOT of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions imposed under the pretext of preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 is unacceptable, including with regard to the safety of international observers. The Government of Ukraine, while taking the decision to temporarily suspend the crossing of the contact line for individuals and vehicles with the aim to affect the spread of coronavirus infection to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian Government, has made duly exception for the crossing of the representatives of the monitoring missions of the OSCE, the UN, and the ICRC in accordance with the earlier established procedures.

We urge the international community, most notably the participants of the Normandy format, to continue exerting pressure on the Russian Federation, which bears responsibility for the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, in order to ensure full and rigorous implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia.


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