EU calls on Russia to provide OSCE SMM access to occupied part of Donbass
The European Union insists on the need for unhindered access by the OSCE SMM to the occupied territory of Donbass. The corresponding statement by press secretary of the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell was spread in Brussels on Wednesday, – Interfax-Ukraine reports.
The EU recalled that since March 21, members of the armed formations have denied access for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to the areas not controlled by Ukraine. In addition, the UN organizations, non-governmental organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have difficulties in accessing.
“It is critically important that Russia and the armed formations it supports provide the OSCE SMM, the UN organizations, non-governmental organizations and the ICRC with freedom of movement through the contact line”, – the EU stated.
In addition, Brussels noted that in accordance with its mandate, the SMM should have safe, reliable and unhindered access throughout Ukraine, including areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, temporarily beyond the control of the government.
“The unhindered access to and from areas not controlled by the state is important to provide reliable information on the events on spot, as provided for in the Minsk agreements, and to ensure the fulfillment of its mandate throughout the country”, – the statement emphasizes.
The EU also stated that the SMM “adapted its monitoring work in response to the global outbreak of COVID-19 to ensure the continued security for all”.
“It is even more important that humanitarian assistance continues to be delivered to people in these areas under the existing circumstances. The UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross should have unhindered access to those in need throughout the Donbass”, – the statement notes.
The EU indicated that recently, “a number of important events have taken place in the Trilateral Contact Group, such as discussions on the exchange of detainees and determination of new disengagement points. Russia should not jeopardize this constructive spirit by creating new restrictions”, – the text emphasizes.
Brussels once again assured that “it continues to firmly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group work to achieve a sustainable and peaceful political settle of the conflict”.
As previously reported, members of the illegal armed formations prohibited the patrols of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission from passing through official road corridors at two checkpoints in the Donetsk oblast on March 23.