MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th June, 2021) The security situation in the deescalation zone in Donbas has deteriorated over the recent weeks, with multiple ceasefire violations registered, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) reported on Thursday.
"In recent weeks, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has observed a deterioration of the security situation in the disengagement areas. Also, the Mission continues to record the use of heavy weapons deployed in violation of the withdrawal lines," Heidi Grau, the OSCE envoy, said after the regular meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG).
She also noted that the OSCE SMM continued to face restrictions to the freedom of movement and had several of its unmanned aerial vehicles targeted, which has hindered the mission's effective operation.
Grau further stressed that the sides of the conflict failed to reach consensus on a number of critical security issues within the TCG working groups, including demining and political resolution. At the same time, some progress was made in regards to the exchange of conflict-related detainees, opening of new crossing points, water supplies, pension payments, property rights, and environmental issues.
The Ukrainian government launched a military operation against the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east in April 2014. Prospects for peace have been discussed on various platforms, including the TCG, which has adopted already several documents regulating the conflict's de-escalation since September 2014.