The United States is calling for investigation of the incident involving the vehicle of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) that resulted in the death of the US national, US Department of State acting spokesman Mark Toner said.

On Sunday, law enforcement officials of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) said the explosion hit the observers’ car near the Pryshyb settlement in the Lugansk region and, as a result, one SMM member was killed. Later in the day, OSCE Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug confirmed the explosion, adding that the blast killed a US citizen and injured two more people from Germany and the Czech Republic.

“The United States is shocked and deeply saddened by the death of a U.S. citizen serving as a paramedic with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), when his vehicle struck an explosive in separatist controlled territory in eastern Ukraine… The United States urges Russia to use its influence with the separatists to allow the OSCE to conduct a full, transparent, and timely investigation,” US Department of State acting spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement on Sunday.

The spokesman added that the incident stressed the need for implementation of the commitments within the framework of the Minsk settlement accord by all the parties to the Ukrainian conflict.

“The United States again calls upon Russia to use its influence with the separatists to take the first step toward peace to eastern Ukraine and ensure a visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement in the security situation,” Toner added.

He said that the United States provided the SMM monitors with full support and condemned any violence toward them, adding that the SMM staff should have “safe, full, and unfettered access throughout the conflict zone.”

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