Michael Bociurkiw: We look forward to the day when we can resume our activities in eastern Ukraine to full mission strength


Kyiv, July 09, 2014 – “We maintain a robust presence of our observers in the east of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk first of all.  Currently we have almost 300 monitors from over 40 countries in Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of OSCE to Ukraine. We look forward to the day when we can resume our activities in eastern Ukraine to the full mission strength. But for that to happen we need a number of improvements, it is impossible during acute phase of conflict – with shootings and roadblocks” – stated Michael Bociurkiw, SMM spokesman, during his media briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Michael Bociurkiw informed that OSCE SMM became the first international organization which visited Slovyansk after its liberation on July 5. Yesterday a group of observers made a six-hour visit to Slovyansk, where, according to them, “strained situation in the town and quite complicated conditions for local inhabitants” were being observed. According to Mr. Bociurkiw, “as of yesterday electricity supply in town still was not resumed, people had difficulties with access to cash machines, foodstuff supply was  not improved, center of the town is partly barricaded and the town itself is empty and quiet”.  Today OSCE mission will return to Slovyansk to continue monitoring.

“We hope that de-escalation in eastern regions of Ukraine continues, we expect peaceful negotiations to be renewed and at the same time we hope that any agreement will result in minimum negative consequences for Ukraine”. Simultaneously SMM spokesman to Ukraine stated that SMM is ready to increase number of its observers in Donbas, should the need be.

SMM spokesman to Ukraine also informed that tomorrow in Vienna the ambassador Ertugrul Apakan,  OSCE Chief Monitor in Ukraine, will represent the second regular report on work of the mission in Ukraine to other 57 countries – OSCE members.