Patrol cars outside the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) building in Lugansk

Patrol cars outside the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) building in Lugansk

© Alexander Kravchenko/TASS

VIENNA, November 1. /TASS/. Pressure is put on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Kiev in favor of having facts that would be convenient for Kiev. Attempts were made to edit an interview of Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the SMM Alexander Hug to the Foreign Policy magazine, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE Dmitry Balakin told a session of the European security agency’s Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday.

He said the situation in Donbass remained very difficult, and the Ukrainian leadership continued its policy towards the use of force to solve the domestic conflict, sabotaging the Package of Measures.

“This is directly reflected in reports of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. Meanwhile, unprecedented pressure is put on the mission in favor of arguments convenient for the Ukrainian leadership and the countries supporting it,” Balakin said.

He said Alexander Hug “came under harsh criticism in connection with his statement in an interview with the US ‘Foreign Policy’ that the SMM had found no direct evidence of the Russian presence in the southeast of Ukraine”.

“Moreover, attempts were even made to edit his words. And what about the freedom of speech?” the Russian diplomat asked.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including prisoner exchange in the all-for-all format, local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

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