Statement by OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Regarding the Safety and Security of Monitors
KYIV, 16 January, 2015 – In response to media reports, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reaffirms that no participating States have withdrawn their monitors from the Mission in Ukraine.
“We continue to work closely with all OSCE participating States to ensure that their nationals seconded to the Mission operate in a safe and secure environment,” said SMM Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug. "In a rapidly changing environment we frequently update our security and operational capacity." The SMM has made and continues to make significant investments in developing robust security arrangements to enable civilian monitors to work in a very volatile and unpredictable security environment.
At the invitation of the SMM, security experts from about 20 OSCE participating States took part in a visit this week to Ukraine including to the Donetsk Monitoring Team.
Hug added: "Security of staff is our number one priority. We co-operate with OSCE participating States on ensuring the safety of our monitors. In this context, the SMM had invited the group of security experts from participating states to assess the situation on the ground and to witness how the Mission implements its operational and security procedures."
Yesterday, in a statement, the SMM also called upon all parties to immediately stop the fighting in the east, and withdraw heavy weapons and armed units from Donetsk airport and from all adjacent residential areas as agreed in the Minsk documents.
The SMM stands ready to facilitate dialogue to further reduce the level of tension.