OSCE accuses sides in Donbass conflict of violating weaponry removal terms

OSCE observers continue visiting the sites to which weaponry had been previously removed

Observers from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) continue observing violations by the parties to the Donbas conflict of the conditions for weaponry removal, and said there are no weapons and equipment at the specially designated storage sites.

One breach took place in Sontseve, which is controlled by the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR): an OSCE SMM drone registered eight new tanks, OSCE SMM deputy chief Alexander Hug said at a briefing by Skype from Donetsk on Oct. 23.

The SMM staff also observed some equipment in Pervomaisk, he said. The permanent presence of weapons, be it for training or other purposes, creates tensions, Hug said.

The OSCE SMM observers continue visiting the sites to which weaponry had been previously removed and the situation there has not changed: there are no weapons there, neither Ukraine's, nor DNR's, he said.

The OSCE SMM gained access to the sites for weapons removed by the LNR, but there too they have observed the absence of what was previously said to have been removed, he said.

Observers continue being restricted in their freedom of movement, Hug said.

In some cases, the LNR has denied the OSCE SMM monitors access to places they wanted to go to, which is a breach of the Minsk agreements and the SMM mandate, he said. He also said that on October 17-18 there were efforts to jam SMM drones in the village of Zaichenko.

Today the mission numbers 591 observers, Hug also said.

Read more: All DNR tanks withdrawn from contact line>>>

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