25.11.16 12:05

Situation deteriorates in Donbas as monitors register record number of cease-fire violations, - US ambassador to OSCE

According to the OSCE Special Monitoring Missions (SMM), the recent weeks have seen the highest number of cease-fire violations in the east of Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE Daniel Baer said in his statement to the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, Censor.NET reports.

"The situation continues to deteriorate in eastern Ukraine. In mid-November cease-fire violations reached their highest levels since the establishment of the Special Monitoring Mission in 2014," the U.S. official said.

Last week, the SMM recorded the highest-ever number of violations from heavy weapons, including multiple launch rocket systems, he added.

Baer stressed that combined Russian-separatist forces continue to be responsible for the majority of cease-fire violations.

"We call on all parties to comply fully with the Minsk agreements, including upholding the cease-fire, withdrawing proscribed weapons, making progress on disengagement, and providing the SMM full and unfettered access to all parts of Ukraine, particularly the territory controlled by combined Russian-separatist forces," he stated.

Read more: "We consider scenario of large-scale aggression in eastern Ukraine," - General Staff

The American diplomat emphasized a surge in threats and aggressive acts by pro-Russian forces against the SMM. Nine incidents have been recorded over the last two months without any real consequences for the perpetrators.

"This is unacceptable. Russia and the separatists it supports must accept their responsibility for this conduct and prohibit intimidation and threats against monitors," Baer said.

On behalf of the United States, he reiterated the call to all sides to remove their forces from civilian areas and thanked Ukraine for its commitment to do so.
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