Today’s news from Pryshyb - a part of the Luhansk region not currently controlled by the government of Ukraine - that a member of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission has been killed by a mine is a tragic reminder of the urgent need for progress on a peaceful resolution of the conflict, which has already taken many innocent lives.
Our condolences go to the family of the victim and I wish a speedy recovery to others injured in this incident, which needs to be thoroughly investigated. Those responsible must be held accountable. I was already in touch with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier; we have agreed to stay in close contact.
Full implementation of the Minsk agreements remains the basis for a sustainable solution that respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The European Union will continue to support the vital work of the OSCE and its Special Monitoring Mission, which must be granted full, secure and unimpeded access to all conflict-affected areas, with safety of monitors of crucial importance. The EU will also continue to support de-mining efforts.
Without proper and unimpeded monitoring by the Mission, there cannot be a credible and verified improvement of the security situation, which is the basis for further progress on the political track of the peace process.