Statement by Ertugrul Apakan, the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine (24.02.2015)
PARIS, 24 February 2015. We welcome the determination of the Ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, who met in Paris today, that the package of measures agreed in Minsk must be implemented in full, without delay.
More than 10 days ago we wrote to the signatories to make clear what is needed from them if the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine is to fulfil the task given to the mission regarding monitoring and heavy weapons withdrawal. This includes: what heavy weapons they have; where these weapons are now, and which routes will be used to withdraw them; and where they will be located after they have been withdrawn.
The parties concerned still have not provided this information, and they need to do so promptly. Without this information, the SMM cannot effectively verify the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
The SMM has already been monitoring the movement of heavy weapons for five months, but there is a clear distinction between this activity, which we will continue—and being able to report that these weapons are indeed withdrawn, and safely and securely stored.
The SMM can monitor and verify this process in a credible manner. We look forward to being able to report that these weapons, which have caused such widespread devastation and displacement, have been indeed pulled back.
Statement by the Foreign Ministry on issues of OSCE verification of the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine (Moscow, 25.02.2015)
The Foreign Ministry underscores the need for strict compliance with all the provisions of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, adopted on February 12 in Minsk by the Contact Group on Ukraine and supported by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.
Russia welcomes the commitment of Donbass self-defence forces to withdraw heavy weapons to create a security zone under the aforementioned document.
As is known, the parties to the Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015 have urged the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and the Joint Coordination Centre for Ceasefire Monitoring to step up their activity, and to facilitate and monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
It is regrettable that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, citing the lack of certain instructions, is not showing due diligence in performing the functions entrusted to it and evades monitoring the implementation of the sides’ obligations to withdraw heavy weapons. We note that the plan for the withdrawal of heavy weapons was agreed upon within the framework of the Joint Coordination Centre and was made known to the OSCE mission.
We expect that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission will without delay start performing its functions of monitoring and verifying the withdrawal of heavy weapons by all the parties to the conflict.