OSCE: No Russian violations on Ukrainian border

OSCE: No Russian violations on Ukrainian border (RT, Aug 7, 2014):

The OSCE monitoring mission on the Russian-Ukrainian border has registered no violations of international law by the Russian side during its week-long stay at the Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints, mission head Paul Picard said.

During his press conference, Picard was asked to comment on Western claims that Russia is shelling Ukrainian territory and has starting deployment troops to the country.

“In these two border crossings we haven’t seen such happenings,” he replied.

The observers were assessing two checkpoints – Gukovo and Donetsk – on the border with Ukraine’s Lugansk Region, which are separated from each other by around 30km.

Gukovo checkpoint is currently closed from the Ukrainian side, but traffic at the Donetsk border crossing is “high,” Picard stressed.

“About 80 percent of traffic comes from Ukraine to Russia. We heard from people that there’s a queue of hundreds of car and a kilometer of people standing in line to the checkpoint,” he said.

According to Picard, the people – who are trying to cross the Russian border from Ukraine – have their children and huge bags with them, and don’t look remotely like tourists.

The observer also confirmed that several Ukrainian shells have landed on the Russian territory during the last week.

“Three was fighting on Ukrainian side south of [Gukovo] border crossing point and… two shells fell on the territory of the border crossing and two fell in the field,” he said.

Picard thanked the Russian border guards for “providing required security measures” for the OSCE mission.

He said there are currently eight OSCE employees working at Gukovo and Donetsk, but the arrival of the rest of the group is expected on Friday.

In all, there’ll be 15 observers, a head observer and three administrative staff, which will allow the mission “to work 24/7,” Picard said.

Picard also spoke about the group of over 400 Ukrainian soldiers who crossed the Russian border to escape the fighting on Monday.

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