The US called on Russia to use its influence in Eastern Ukraine to conduct a complete investigation of the death of an American citizen in the explosion of an OSCE vehicle near Luhansk. The US Department of State published a statement to this effect on their website.
Washington expressed shock at the death of the US citizen who worked as a paramedic in the OSCE Mission to Ukraine.
Aside from that, in the State Department’s report the US calls on Russia to use its influence with the separatists to take the first step toward peace in Eastern Ukraine and to ensure a visible improvement in the security situation.
Earlier during the OSCE briefing in Kyiv, Alexander Hug, first deputy head of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the OSCE in Ukraine, affirmed that the explosion of an OSCE vehicle had resulted in the death of a US citizen.
Two other people were injured in the explosion. One of them was a German citizen; another had come to Ukraine from the Czech Republic.
Two of the OSCE mission’s vehicles were traveling along the route between Slovianoserbsk and Sokolnyky. In the area of the Pryshyb settlement, one of them hit a roadside bomb.
Germany has called on the separatists to stop attacks on representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the Donbas.
“Now what we have feared for years has happened. I am deeply concerned by the news from Eastern Ukraine. This is a terrible tragedy, today one OSCE observer died, and two more were injured. Someone who wanted to help achieve peace and the cessation of military action has lost his life today… The attacks and baseless accusations, especially from the separatists, must stop. It is in the interests of all, especially the sides in conflict along the contact line, for the OSCE monitors to be able to do their important and simultaneously challenging and dangerous work,” Sigmar Gabriel, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, said. He also expressed his condolences to relatives of the deceased, and to the OSCE mission for the loss of a colleague.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs interpreted the explosion of the SMM OSCE patrol vehicle in Luhansk as an attempt by Russia to intimidate the monitors.
“We consider the serious incident which took place in the territory controlled by Russia-backed illegal armed groups to be confirmation of the attempts by Moscow and its puppets to intimidate OSCE observers, and to bring to naught Ukraine and the SMM’s efforts to stabilize the situation along the line of contact. We call on Russia to carry out its obligations in the framework of the Minsk agreements and to take all urgent measures to immediately stop provocation against OSCE observers, and to guarantee their complete safety and guarantee the SMM unimpeded access to all the occupied territories of the separate Donetsk and Luhansk regions, up to and including the temporarily uncontrolled section of the Ukraine-Russian border,” the statement of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.