Gernot Erler, Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship and Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, today issued the following statement on OSCE reports of increasing violations of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and on the safety of OSCE monitors:
“The latest OSCE reports on increasing numbers of ceasefire violations and the presence of heavy weapons in the area of conflict in eastern Ukraine are worrying. I therefore call upon all sides to adhere to the agreements reached and to stop all fighting immediately. A sustainable ceasefire is urgently needed, not least in order to ensure progress at last in implementing the political obligations deriving from the agreements reached in Minsk.
I was particularly concerned at reports of a vehicle coming under fire and an SMM patrol being threatened at gunpoint in the separatist area. Attacks like this on civilian OSCE monitors are utterly unacceptable. All sides must finally and fully ensure monitors’ safety as well as their free and unrestricted access to the entire conflict area.”