An appropriate statement was made on Thursday at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council by U.S. representative, Ambassador Daniel Baier, Censor.NET reports citing U.S. Mission's official website.
"While fighting has diminished, combined Russian-separatist forces continue attacks on Ukrainian positions, which have resulted in several Ukrainian casualties since the cease-fire went into effect," he stated.
Baier stressed that the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine also reports the presence of considerable numbers of heavy weapons in separatist-controlled territory, including grads, howitzers, and surface-to-air missile systems.
"We call on Russia to halt the resupply of weapons and equipment into Ukraine, which only risks provoking renewed, full-scale fighting. We also call on combined Russian-separatist forces to abide by the cease-fire fully, so we do not lose this important opportunity to make real progress on Minsk implementation," the U.S. representative noted.
He also pointed out that the joint Russian-secessionist forces are responsible for more than 90 percent of instances of denied or delayed access for SMM monitors. According to Baier, ensuring SMM access throughout the conflict zone is essential to maintain a genuine, lasting cease-fire and restore the confidence needed to facilitate Minsk implementation.
"If we are to have confidence that Russia and the separatists it backs are committed to Minsk implementation, not military aggression, the SMM must have full, unconditional access to the border," the American diplomat remarked.