OSCE to monitor truce violation areas: Kiev

3rd March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Leaders of France, Germany and Russia have agreed with Ukraine on the dispatch of OSCE monitors to 10 flashpoint sites on the country's eastern frontline to shore up a shaky truce, Ukraine said Tuesday.

In a readout of a four-way telephone conversation published by the Ukrainian presidency, President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and Russian President Vladimir Putin "supported Ukraine's suggestion to put monitors to all locations of ceasefire violations."

The intensified monitoring would start first and foremost with 10 flashpoints on the frontline -- Shchastya, Popasna, Stanitsa Luganska, Krymske, Avdiivka, Volnovakha, Granitne, Luganske, Shyrokine and the Donetsk airport area, the statement said.

Without going into such detail, the offices of Hollande, Merkel, and Putin said that greater and more direct involvement of the OSCE was needed and suggested that the monitoring mission publish a daily report on its observations.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the leaders "agreed that the OSCE should play a more important role in monitoring the ceasefire and the withdrawal of weapons."

The French presidency noted "progress" on the ceasefire but said that there was improvement to be made.

The Kremlin said in a statement that the leaders "noted the importance of rigorous adherence to the ceasefire and continuation of pull back of heavy weapons," also advising that the OSCE mission "regularly publishes information" about the process.

Ukraine's security spokesman Anatoliy Stelmakh meanwhile reported no overnight casualties on Tuesday morning, but said the rebels violated the ceasefire six times between 9 pm and 5 am.

In addition, he said the rebels shelled the village of Pisky near the Donetsk airport, fired at Avdiivka from a tank and attacked Opytne with a grenade launcher. Both villages are not far from the rebel hub Donetsk.

He added that there was combat in Lugansk region near the village of Sokolnyki in the morning.


© 2015 AFP

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