According to statements coming from the OSCE, on the morning of April 23, 2017 an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission vehicle returning from a patrol, experienced a mine explosion in the district of Slavyanoserbsky, Lugansk Region, two kilometres away from the line of contact, resulting in the death of one paramedic from the United States working as a contractor with the OSCE. International monitors who were also in the vehicle were wounded.
The Foreign Ministry expresses its deepest condolences to the family of the victim and wishes speedy recovery to those who were injured.
The circumstances of the incident suggest that there is a high probability of a provocation aimed at derailing the settlement in Donbass. It is obvious that incidents of this kind and the overall escalation of tension benefit those who are not interested in the implementation of the political, economic and humanitarian provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures.
The Foreign Ministry is outraged by the cynical act that resulted in a human casualty and targeted international monitors whose efforts are aimed at achieving peace. We call for a thorough and unbiased investigation and holding the perpetrators accountable.
What happened demonstrates the urgent need for ensuring the safety of OSCE monitors, as stipulated in the mission’s mandate and was noted on a number of occasions by the Normandy Four leaders, including during their last telephone conversation on April 17.
The Foreign Ministry renews its call for giving new momentum to the talks between the parties to the conflict – Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk within the Contract Group in order to ensure the full implementation of the Package of Measures as the only way to achieve a settlement in Donbass.