Steinmeier concerned about militant threats to OSCE observers in Ukraine
Following recent incidents targeting patrol teams of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) in the country's east, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a statement.
"It is with great concern that I have learned that shots were again fired in the direction of an SMM team near Novooleksandrivka and that another SMM patrol was held at gunpoint and searched near Lukove," he said in a statement.
"Such assaults, aimed at obstructing the work of the civilian, unarmed OSCE monitoring mission and its observers, are completely unacceptable. The recent attacks add to the numerous impediments to the work of the Mission, including numerous restrictions on their freedom of movement, which are well documented in the Mission's reports."
Read alsoMilitants attack vehicle carrying Ukrainian JCCC members"All sides must fully guarantee the security and safety of the SMM monitors and equipment and ensure their unfettered access throughout the country, including the conflict area. The Mission must be able to fulfill its mandate, as well as its role foreseen in the Minsk agreements. Those responsible for attacks must be held accountable. I therefore fully support the SMM's call on the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination to follow up on the recent incidents and to ensure rapid response to cases of impediments following monitoring and verification by the SMM," he stated.