OSCE SMM concerned over threat of eco-disaster as Donetsk water filtration station halts operations

21:50, 24 February 2017

Chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan has expressed concern over a threat of environmental disaster in Donbas amid ceased operations of the Donetsk water filtration station, according to the SMM press service.

OSCE/Micky Kroell

The implications of a strike on the filtration station "go beyond the immediate endangerment of workers serving the basic needs of their community," said Ambassador Apakan.

"An environmental disaster cannot be excluded either, with chlorine tanks at the plant potentially exposing the wider area to the release of poisonous gas," he said.

"As well as demonstrating that the sides have not withdrawn weapons, as they promised they would, the shelling of the filtration plant shows a complete disregard for human life and the wider interests of the civilian population," said Apakan.

"The sides must, at a minimum, immediately cease fire, withdraw weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements, and disengage from around this critical civilian infrastructure," said the OSCE SMM chief.

Read alsoUkrainian-held Avdiyivka without water as filtration station hit by shellAs UNIAN reported earlier, Voda Donbasa utility company reported the decision to suspend operations of the Donetsk water filtration station as a result of continued shellings.

The station supplies water to settlements on both sides of the contact line: Avdiyivka, Krasnohorivka, and Verknetoretske, as well as the temporarily-occupied Donetsk, Yasynuvata, and the villages of Vasylievka and Spartak.

If you see a spelling error on our site, select it and press Ctrl+Enter