Monitors are denied access in most of the frontline area by both parties, yet there is certain progress in peaceful resolution.
Kyiv, September 30, 2016. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM OSCE) still does not have full access to Stanytsia Luhanska, areas Zolote -Pervomaysk and Petrivske -Bohdanivka determined in the Framework Agreement on the disengagement of forces. The parties continue to block monitors’ access to these areas. For this reason, SMM cannot check the implementation of the agreement in these three areas. This was stated by Alexander Hug, First Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Over last week our patrols were denied access 16 times. In all these cases it happened near these three areas. Behind each of such concrete blocks [blocking the road] there are landmines, which the parties were supposed to neutralize but they did not,” he said.
According to Mr. Hug, militants from the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) declared that they were not going to demine the areas along roads. “Roads are a fundamental prerequisite for the SMM so that it could reach remote areas. It is envisaged by the framework agreement,” he stated. Also, one of the mission’s unmanned aerial vehicles was deadened near Petrivske. Because of this, the SMM was forced to cancel several flights.
On September 26, in Soledar, Ukrainian and Russian generals from the Joint Center for Coordination and Control assured that both sides would work together to demine the territory. “On the next day there were no Russian representatives of the Centre in Petrivske where our monitors had recorded landmines. The following day both sides said they did not have any instructions to coordinate or at least communicate with each other,” said Mr. Hug.
However, according to him, there is some progress as well. The so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”), for example, removed concrete blocks near Zolote -Pervomaysk. Ukrainian Armed Forces also held demining works in some areas.