The Russian Federation and pro-Russian armed groups are responsible for downing the drone of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) on October 27, stated the European Union.
"The European Union and its Member States strongly condemn the downing of an SMM long-range UAV in the middle of the night on October 27. In its preliminary assessment, the SMM concluded that the most likely cause of the downing was an impact to the UAV and that eight people heard an explosion in the area around the time of the incident. Moreover, the downing followed shortly after the drone spotted a 9K33 Osa surface-to-air missile system and yet another convoy of seven trucks driving toward Manych on a dirt road near the border with the Russian Federation where there are no border crossing facilities. These facts suggest Russia and the armed formations it backs bear responsibility for the incident. We demand an explanation by the Russian Federation. We underline that any interference with SMM technical equipment goes against the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements. Those responsible for any willful damage, destruction or loss of SMM UAVs and other assets should be held accountable, both politically and financially.
"This incident must also be seen against the background of continued, systematic restrictions to the SMM´s freedom of movement, occurring predominantly in areas held by Russia-backed, armed formations, and constraints to the SMM´s proper monitoring of the situation along the uncontrolled Ukrainian-Russian state border,” the statement read.
The EU Candidate Countries such as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Andorra and San Marino supported the statement.
Earlier, it was reported that the SMM OSCE stated that their drone disappeared during the flight over the territories of the Donetsk regions which are not under Ukraine's control.