Statement by the Chief Monitor of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on events in Ukraine
KYIV, 17 Feb, 2015 – Today the OSCE SMM visited the temporary headquarters of Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC). The Deputy Chief Monitor was present at four rounds of videoconference discussions, in which representatives of the General Staff of Ukraine, members of the so-called “DPR” and “LPR,” and Russian and Ukrainian heads of the JCCC took part.
The Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan welcomed efforts to engage in dialogue. “I am, however, profoundly disturbed by reports of what is going on in Debaltseve, where until recently the JCCC itself was based,” he said.
“Five months ago the sides agreed on the need for a comprehensive ceasefire and to prohibit attacking moves, they also defined the line of contact between their forces. Five days ago they agreed to an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. Today the SMM intended to visit Debaltseve to implement its mandate. In light of reports of shelling and small-arms fire in the area, the SMM asked the sides to confirm to each other their adherence to the ceasefire, with a view to allowing access to the town. I regret that they were not all able to do this. As a result, the SMM's mandate has been compromised.”
“I am especially concerned about the civilian population of the town. The sides have a duty to them as well, and to each other to adhere strictly to the ceasefire. I condemn any attempts to create new facts on the ground, and so to change the basis on which the latest package of measures has been agreed.
“Thus far, the so-called ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ – citing security fears – have effectively denied access to the SMM to Debaltseve. We insist that they immediately cease the offensive. We insist upon unfettered access to Debaltseve and to the full security zone.
“The SMM will return to Soledar on 18 February and will travel from there to Debaltseve as soon as the sides can confirm to each other their intention to honour the ceasefire agreement. Failure to do so will have grave consequences.”