11:40 Nov. 18, 2016
The US Ambassador to the OSCE calls upon Russian-backed militants to grant access to the Mariupol sector for the mission's observers
The US Ambassador to the OSCE Daniel Baer has mentioned a probable offensive operation by Russian-backed separatist forces against Mariupol and its suburbs.
He delivered that statement during the OSCE permanent council in Vienna.
"We are seriously concerned because combined Russian-backed separatist forces have been amplifying their capabilities around the Mariupol area", Baer said.
The Ambassador informed that Russian-backed militants blocked observers of the OSCE monitoring mission who wanted to visit two areas located to the north-eastern part of Mariupol on November 14.
"Taking into account that the SMM has noticed the connection between a limited access and cease-fire violations, we are deeply concerned that Russian-backed separatist forces are planning more attacks on Mariupol and its suburbs", Baer explained.
"We call upon Russia and separatists supported by it to grant to the observers a full and immediate access to areas near Mariupol as well as to withdraw its armaments", Baer continued.