Shooting at representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the country’s East is “shocking”, as Kiev should be providing for their safety, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday, according to a report by Sputnik news
“These are shocking situations. We strongly express our protest over this, considering that the inviting party [Kiev] is obliged to provide all the necessary conditions for safety during the international observers’ work and movement,” Lukashevich said during a briefing.
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According to an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) report released Wednesday, military personnel traveling in a “flat-bed cargo truck” with “white vertical lines on the tail-gate… and on the passenger door” shot in the direction of an OSCE convoy near government-controlled Mariinka, located about 15 kilometers [approximately nine miles] east of Donetsk.
Another SMM report, also published Wednesday, said that Ukrainian forces had not allowed OSCE monitors to pass through a bridge checkpoint in Debaltseve on November 18.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was deployed at Kiev’s request after Ukraine’s southeastern regions refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government that came to power following a February coup. The warring sides reached a ceasefire agreement in September, but have since accused each other of violating the truce.
The OSCE mission’s task is to reduce tensions and foster peace, stability and security in Ukraine and on the Russian-Ukrainian border.