Federation Council criticizes OSCE monitors for inactivity in southeastern Ukraine

The Federation Council's Committee on Public Support to Residents of Southeastern Ukraine has criticized the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) and claimed that the OSCE monitors stationed in the conflict zone have been doing nothing.

The Federation Council's Committee on Public Support to Residents of Southeastern Ukraine has criticized the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) and claimed that the OSCE monitors stationed in the conflict zone have been doing nothing.

"Civilians, among them women and children, get killed in bombardments in the southeast every day, but the international community and the OSCE do nothing. Alas, [OSCE] monitoring does not entail any consequences," Committee Chairman, Federation Council Vice-Speaker Yuri Vorobyov said at a Committee sitting on June 11.

There has been no tangible improvement in southeastern Ukraine since the signing of the Minsk agreements, he said.

"So, we have to go back to that situation, the suffering of civilians, and the search for ways of peaceful resolution of the conflict and fulfillment of the Minsk accords without which nothing can change in southeastern Ukraine," Vorobyov said.

He proposed the drawing up of an appeal to the OSCE in cooperation with the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"We would like them to explain how they respond to the notorious events in which people die: they [the OSCE] can see and observe such cases, and people get killed in attacks conducted by unknown servicemen. Is that so? No one is punished, which means no one admits opening fire on children. The OSCE is monitoring [the situation], which means their monitoring must have some tangible results and the culprits must be punished or at least sought after," Vorobyov said.

"The purpose of monitoring is to watch and punish the culprits or otherwise there is no point in this monitoring mission," the vice-speaker said.

He also said that the appeal should mention the severed supply of drinking water to the southeast. "This is totally inhumane and impermissible in the contemporary world to deprive a large number of people living in Ukrainian territory of drinking water. This is impermissible and we should definitely declare our opinion in this statement," Vorobyov said.

Another item on the Committee's agenda was summer vacations of children from Donbas. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics have developed rehabilitation and vacation programs for 30,000 children. Some 10,000 children will take vacations in Russia, 5,000 of them in Crimea.

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