OSCE SMM unable to verify disengagement near Stanytsia Luhanska – Deputy JFO Commander
Deputy Commander of the Joint Forces Bohdan Bondar has said the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine cannot verify the disengagement of near the village of Stanytsia Luhanska.
"The OSCE SMM cannot verify and tell the parties that the disengagement of forces and weapons in Stanytsia Luhanska has been carried out in full, as defined by framework agreements," he told Hromadske.
According to the defense official, Ukrainian military did receive information that the militants have withdrawn from their positions.
"But there are certain alerts like, for example, fortified positions that haven't been dismantled, which can be occupied within 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour and, accordingly, shelling may resume again," Bondar said.
However, the JFO deputy commander says Ukrainian troops have already begun dismantling their fortified positions.
"We have shown our goodwill, including yesterday, when an OSCE representative, Deputy Chief Monitor Mark Etherington, was there. He personally saw that we continue dismantling these fortified positions," Bondar said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the first stage of disengagement of forces was launched near Stanytsia Luhanska on June 26, completing on June 30. It was officially confirmed by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
However, according to a spokesman for Ukraine's Defense Ministry, Dmytro Hutsuliak, Russian-led forces are still present near Stanytsia Luhanska following statements about the "disengagement" of their troops.