U.S. condemns attack on SMM in Ukraine, urges Russia to immediately observe ceasefire

| Updated: Feb 27, 2017 04:23 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 26 (ANI): Condemning the target of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) monitors and the seizure of a SMM unmanned aerial vehicle by combined-Russian separatist forces, the United States on Sunday called on Russia to "immediately" observe the ceasefire in Ukraine under the Minsk agreements. "We call on Russia and the separatist forces it backs to immediately observe the cease-fire, withdraw all heavy weapons, and allow full and unfettered access to the OSCE monitors," said the statement issued by the State Department. The statement further said that it is imperative that the forces halt their attacks on civilian infrastructure, including the Donetsk water filtration station. Earlier on February 24, Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine, Ertugrul Apakan condemned the targeting of SMM monitors and the seizure of an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by "DPR" members. The incident took place at around 2:30 p.m. on February 24 in "DPR"-controlled Yasynuvata, north of Donetsk city. An SMM patrol was attempting to launch a UAV, intending to monitor the alleged shelling of the Donetsk water filtration station, when armed men seized the UAV. (ANI)