(QHA) -

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says it has scaled back monitoring operations in eastern Ukraine and frozen further deployments.

The security and rights watchdog's deputy chief monitor, Alexander Hug, announced the step in Vienna June 30.

"We look forward to the day soon when we can resume our activities in eastern Ukraine to full mission strength, but for that to happen we need a number of improvements"- he said.

"We need weapons to disappear, we need checkpoints to disappear, and we need freedom of movement"- he added.

The statement comes after pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine set free four captive OSCE monitors on June 26 and four more on June 28.

Hug said all eight monitors were unharmed and their release had been unconditional.