Chief Monitor of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission calls for respect of monitors’ safety and freedom of movement
KYIV, 2 May 2015 - The Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, today expressed his deep concern about an increase in incidents over the past 36 hours, involving live fire near and at SMM patrols.
The most serious incident occurred early Saturday afternoon when a patrol in Shyrokyne was hit by small arms fire. There were no injuries.
Also on Saturday in Pisky (near Donetsk airport), four mortar shells landed nearby an SMM patrol while it was approaching an observation point. There was no fighting in the area at the time and the situation was quiet. Less than two hours later, the same patrol, while stationary in Adviivka, came under cross fire including by 152mm artillery that is proscribed under the Minsk agreements. In both cases there were no injuries.
The Chief Monitor also voiced concern over an incident on May 1, when the members of the battalion on the ground interfered with the work of an SMM observation point near Shyrokyne.
Ambassador Apakan said: "The SMM is an unarmed civilian mission. In order to fully perform the tasks given to it under the Minsk agreements and by the 57 participating States, it requires unrestricted - and most importantly - safe access to all areas of the conflict zone."
Ambassador Apakan reiterated his call for all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to do their utmost to ensure the safety and security of the SMM monitors. He added that the SMM continues to review and revise its security measures in response to events on the ground.