Russian-led forces never allowed OSCE SMM to patrol zone supposed to be weapon-free – Envoy
Ukraine's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) at the Minsk talks on Donbas Yevgenij Marchuk says Russia-led forces have never allowed the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine to patrol the zone that is supposed to be weapon-free.
"A document was signed back in 2014 that envisaged the creation of a zone free of heavy weapons, which starts from the Azov Sea coast and stretches up north, somewhere around 100 km, a vast territory," Marchuk said at a meeting of the Minsk platform's informal deputy group, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
He stressed until today "access of the OSCE SMM patrols was never allowed to this gigantic territory, which should be free from heavy weapons."
Marchuk added the task of the observers was to monitor whether the obligations of the parties to the conflict were being fulfilled.
He stressed that, according to the mandate of the OSCE SMM, mission patrols should have access to the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, i.e. also to occupied Crimea.