During a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienn, the US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Daniel Baer, discussed the possibility of separatist forces attacking Mariupol and its surrounding area, UNIAN reports.
“We are still seriously concerned with the buildup of forces of the joined Russian and separatist troops outside of Mariupol," Baer said. He reported that on November 14th Russian-separatist forces blocked access to the observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, who wanted to visit two areas located to the north-east of Mariupol.
"Drawing attention to the fact that the SMM has noted the connection between the restriction of access and violations of the cease-fire, we are deeply concerned that the joint Russian-separatist forces might be planning more attacks on Mariupol and the surrounding area," Baer said.
To illustrate this point, the diplomat recalled that only two weeks ago Russia and the separatist forces conducted an attack on a suburb of Mariupol utilizing multiple rocket launching systems.
"We call on Russia and the separatists which it supports, to provide the monitors with full and unrestricted access to areas near Mariupol and immediately withdraw prohibited weapons," Baer said.
Earlier, the OSCE SMM said that the escalation in the Donbas reached its peak. Last week, the number of attacks recorded since the beginning of the year reached its highest point.