Asked about the SMM’s intention to open new advanced patrol bases in the occupied territories of Donbas, in particular in Antratsit, Sorokine (Krasnodon), Novoazovsk, and Amvrosiyivka, and also about the reason that the issue has stalled, Hug confirmed that the Mission had such plans and that they are ready to open the advanced patrol bases in the settlements named and in others as well, and that the issue will be raised before all parties who are supposed to address it.

He added that so far, no sufficient guarantees have been received from those who have actual control in the areas in question, which would give the SMM the opportunity to open such advanced patrol bases.

Read alsoDeployment of OSCE police mission key for Donbas demilitarization – GerashchenkoHe noted that those who have actual control need to understand the OSCE security requirements, and as soon as such understanding is seen, the bases will be opened, adding that the budget for such bases has been prepared and, as soon as the guarantees are secured from those in actual control, these plans will be implemented.

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He also said that restricting the access of observers in Donbas is due to the fact that the militants do not want the SMM to see what is happening in those areas. The OSCE SMM insists on unimpeded and free access to all areas of Ukraine, including in the regions beyond government control, said Hug.