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Russia FM to discuss east Ukraine settlement with OSCE head

October 12, 2015, 8:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

During the meeting the officials will discuss effectiveness of the field missions and of the OSCE institutions

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Lamberto Zannier and Sergey Lavrov

Lamberto Zannier and Sergey Lavrov

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine and additional OSCE monitors in Donbas with the institution’s Secretary General Lamberto Zannier during a meeting in Moscow on Monday .

"The problem of crisis in Ukraine and the role of OSCE in its settlement by implementation of the Minsk agreements by all the parties to the conflict - Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk - will take an important place at the meeting of Lavrov and Zannier," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The officials will discuss specifically implementation of the political aspects of the agreements, which were highlighted during the summit of the so-called Normandy Four in Paris on October 2.

"As for the activities of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine we shall draw Zannier’s attention to necessary objectivity and impartiality of its reports," the ministry said. "We are for having additional observers, so that they make the maximum allowed number of 1,000 people [now they are 543]."

During the meeting the officials will discuss effectiveness of the field missions and of the OSCE institutions - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Representative on Freedom of the Media. Their activities cause many questions. "One of the recent alarming example of exceeding their mandates was the ODIHR Michael Georg Link and High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors’ odious report on human rights in Crimea, which was made on a low professional level and without direct instructions from the OSCE managemen."

Besides, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry want to discuss the problem of the migration process in Europe and further dialogue on the OSCE platform to search settlement of the European security crisis.

The objective of Zannier’s working trips is to receive comments on OSCE current work and to hear recommendations regarding the institution’s key directions of work. This year, he has visited already Washington and Brussels. His previous visit to Russia was in June 2014, where he visited Moscow and temporary accommodation facilities for Ukrainian refugees, organised in the Rostov region.

East Ukraine peace settlement

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, a constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishment of working subgroups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

On September 30, LPR’s head Igor Plotnitsky signed the supplement to the Package Measures to fulfil the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 referring to withdrawal of tanks and of artillery with calibre to 100mm and mortars with calibre to 120mm.

The supplement to the Package of Measures on Implementing the Minsk Agreements from 12 February 2015 was agreed upon on September 29 at a meeting of the Contact Group on settlement the Ukrainian crisis, which was organised in Minsk (Belarus). The supplement envisages withdrawal of tanks, artillery weapons of less than 100mm calibre, and mortars of equal to or less than 120mm calibre to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line in Donbas. On September 30, the document was signed by DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR head Igor Plotnitsky.

In accordance with the reached agreement, tanks are withdrawn first, followed by artillery weapons of less than 100mm calibre and mortars. The first stage should start two days after the complete ceasefire and finish in 15 days. The second stage will take 24 days to complete. The withdrawal will start in the "North" sector on the LPR territory and will continue in the "South" sector in DPR. The whole process of withdrawal is expected to take a total of 41 days.

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