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MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Moscow is surprised by the statement of Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko on the need to deploy in Ukraine heavily armed OSCE observers, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
"The president of this country (Ukraine) has recently made a statement, suggesting it is necessary to arm the OSCE observers in the southeast of Ukraine with heavy weapons," she said. "We are very surprised by these statements made in an interview to Ukrainian TV channels."
According to her, Poroshenko proposed to introduce in the southeast of the country "a special police mission armed with heavy weapons that will be able to ensure security and protect itself." "A certain OSCE police mission with heavy weapons - it looks like another know-how of Pyotr Aexeyevich (Poroshenko)," Zakharova said. "Such a thing does not exist even in the UN peacekeeping practice."
"We hope that by the ‘heavy weapons experience’ the ‘president of peace’, as he calls himself, did not mean nuclear missile or other weapons of mass destruction," the diplomat said. Such ideas are completely divorced from reality. Of course, they have nothing to do with the civil mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) deployed in Ukraine."
Zakharova said that the OSCE SMM has the task to monitor the situation in the sphere of security throughout the territory of Ukraine, to monitor the observance of human rights, the fulfilment of obligations on the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of weapons. "We are closely following the mission’s reports," she said. "We are ready to regularly send to the Ukrainian colleagues the mission’s statistical data in order to protect the authorities in Kiev from such unrealistic beliefs."
"Ensuring security of the OSCE observers is the direct responsibility of Kiev, the Ukrainian authorities," Zakharova said. "They assumed it voluntarily and so it must be scrupulously fulfilled."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before a meeting with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier noted that Moscow highly appreciates the role played by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.
"We appreciate the OSCE current efforts with a view to facilitating the implementation of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis," the Russian minister said.
"Of course, this will require additional efforts both within the Contact Group in which the organization’s representatives work, and as regards the activities of the (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission", Lavrov said.
The minister stressed that everything must be done to see that no OSCE member countries consider this organization as an instrument for advancing their own interests.
"The aim is to see that all done in our organization come as a result of a balance of interests and that none of the OSCE member states see the organization as an instrument that can be manipulated," he went on.
The top diplomat also urged to use to the full institutions of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for ensuring security in Europe. "I fully agree with you that instead of inventing the wheel, the OSCE should be used to the full," he said.
"In addition, we attach particular importance to the special conferences on combating terrorism, on combating drug trafficking that are planned for this year, as well as to the organization’s programs to prevent xenophobia, prevent neo-Nazi tendencies", Lavrov said.
The OSCE secretary general is in Moscow to participate in the Conference on International Security.