Germany, France blame Moscow for downing of OSCE drone over eastern Ukraine

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and France condemned the downing over separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine of a drone operated by monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and blamed Moscow and the separatists it backs for the incident.

In a joint statement, Berlin and Paris said the long-range drone had been shot down early in the morning of Oct. 27 near the Russian-Ukrainian border over territory controlled by the Moscow-backed separatists.

"The information gathered by the Observation Mission suggests that the Russian Federation and the separatists it supports are responsible for the drone's downing," they wrote in a statement issued on Thursday.

Russia is also a member of the OSCE. Together with Ukraine, all four countries are part of the so-called Normandy process, aimed at settling the conflict that has flared in eastern Ukraine since the separatists rose up in 2014.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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