Russia claims OSCE SMM observer works on Ukraine's Security Service; no proofs furnished

Russia claims OSCE SMM observer works on Ukraine's  Security Service; no proofs furnishedThe OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) says there is no evidence at the moment to support the Russian Federal Security Service's claims that one of its monitors in Donbas is an agent of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine.

"The Mission takes such allegations seriously; however, at this moment we have no evidence to support these claims. As such, the SMM will not comment on these allegations at the moment, but is reviewing the situation," the OSCE SMM said in a statement, posted on Facebook on Monday evening.

The OSCE says the SMM is a civilian mission, with a mandate that does not include any intelligence gathering activity. The SMM aims to reduce tensions and facilitate dialogue between all the sides, to gather information and report on the security situation in the country and on the compliance or violation of the Minsk agreements on a daily basis. The OSCE SMM operates on the principles of transparency and impartiality.

"Any serious violation of the Code of Conduct, to which all mission members agree when they join the organization, leads to an immediate dismissal of the member of the mission. On rare occasions, we have already taken such decisions, and if required in future we will do so again," the statement said.

Read also: OSCE records increase in the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine

Presently, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine includes international monitors originating from more than 45 countries, as well as 305 national staff.

The Russian FSB earlier reported the exposure and detention on the territory of Russia of an SBU agent, Artem Shestakov, who worked as an interpreter for the OSCE SMM in Ukraine and allegedly collected intelligence information for the Ukrainian special services.
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