"LNR" militants not allowing deputy head of OSCE SMM to occupied territory through checkpoint for 1.5 hours 10/28/2021 17:14:42. Total views 717. Views today — 0.

The "LNR" militants did not allow the OSCE SMM Deputy Head Mark Etherington to pass to the occupied territory of the Luhansk oblast through the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint for 1.5 hours. This is said in the Mission's operational report.

"On the morning of 27 October at 10:41, an SMM patrol with Deputy Chief Monitor (DCM) Mark Etherington on board arrived at the armed formations crossing point near the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. The DCM and two other mission members dismounted and started walking towards the government-controlled side of the crossing point", - it says.

The observers were stopped by representatives of the armed formations, who asked for their names, positions and nationalities. The members of the Mission presented their OSCE cards, but refused to disclose other details.

The DCM and the two mission members were allowed to proceed further, only to be stopped again by other representatives of the armed formations who asked to inspect SMM's luggage, - is noted in the report.

Allegedly, they "had received no information of the SMM's intention to cross from their superiors, and could thus only let the SMM pass upon luggage inspection; or as diplomats upon review of diplomatic passports".

The Mission reports that the SMM refused both demands. Ultimately, they were allowed to proceed without submitting to these demands. However, blocking the cars of European observers was delayed for 98 minutes.

The SMM recalls that OSCE Permanent Council Decision No. 1117 specifies that the SMM shall have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. Unrestricted and unconditional access to all areas is essential to ensure effective monitoring and reporting of the security situation, the ceasefire, the withdrawal of weapons, demining, as well as disengagement. The mandate also tasks the Mission to report on any restrictions of its freedom of movement or other impediments in the fulfillment of its mandate.