Top ranking OSCE official ensures that the Special Monitoring Mission keeps an eye on both sides of the contact line 24/7 and stresses on another issue in Ukraine.
Kyiv, September 9, 2016. In ATO zone Ukrainian Armed Forces and illegal armed groups made an important progress in establishing ceasefire until September 1. However, today’s increase of shelling raises fears that it will not last long, as it was last year. This was stated by Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary General, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to him, militants continue to restrict SMM freedom of movement and show disrespect to them. “Every day they pass 7,000 – 10,000 kilometers during patrolling. They work around the clock. At night, when it is dangerous to move, monitors use special equipment. Now the mission has 1,100 people,” said the OSCE Secretary General. He mentioned the incidents when militants had stolen the SMM auxiliary camera, and constant attacks on SMM unmanned aerial vehicles.
Mr. Zannier also commented on the OSCE efforts to protect human rights in Ukraine. “It is important not only to ensure human rights in Ukraine from outside. It is necessary to strengthen Ukrainian institutions from inside the country, to support reforms and their implementation. Ukrainians have to cope with their challenges independently. Our task is to help them do it successfully,” he concluded.