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Russian top diplomat praises OSCE contribution to settlement in Ukraine

December 09, 2016, 13:44 updated at: December 09, 2016, 14:18 UTC+3 HAMBURG

The foreign minister says the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has carried out a very important work in Ukraine

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© Alexander Scherbak/TASS

HAMBURG, December 9. /TASS/. Russia positively assesses the contribution of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to settling the crisis in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council on Friday.

"We positively assess the OSCE’s contribution to settling the situation in eastern Ukraine," Lavrov said.

"This refers to the work of the Contact Group and its four subgroups. This is also the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission that carried out a very important work on Ukraine’s territory, including in Donbass region," he added.

Donbass roadmap

Lavrov went on to say that the Donbass roadmap does not replace the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian conflict resolution.

"The roadmap (on the implementation of the Minsk agreements) which is being coordinated is no replacement to these agreements," the minister said, adding that no-one at OSCE supports OSCE armed mission in Donbass. "The roadmap aims to outline moves."

Neither member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has supported an idea to deploy an armed police mission in Donbass, Lavrov said.

"The issue of an armed police mission has not been discussed as no-one backs creation of an OSCE armed police mission in Donbass," Lavrov said. "Neither of the OSCE members, possibly but for Ukraine."

"I cannot speak on behalf of Kiev," he added.

On Thursday, Lavrov explained that the "OSCE doesn’t have police functions. There is a necessity to ensure security in the period of elections in Donbass."

He said that a law on Donbass’ special status, enshrined in Ukraine’s Constitution on a permanent basis, would be a sufficient security guarantee for the election process.

"Security during the elections will be ensured on the basis of measures to be agreed with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. The OSCE can help but it will be an auxiliary role," Lavrov stressed.

Recommendations of OSCE PA on human rights in Donbass 

The recommendations of the OSCE PA on the human rights situation in Donbass are not legally binding, Lavrov said.

When commenting on the recommendations proposing that Russia be sued for cases involving human rights violations, Lavrov noted that "neither OSCE nor the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is a juridical entity."

At the same time, the minister pointed out that unlike the OSCE, the Council of Europe operated on a basis of legally binding conventions. "As for the judicial procedures, if there are any judicial authorities that include Russia, or if there are bilateral agreements, then appeals can be made," Lavrov added.

"The decisions of the OSCE and any of its bodies have no judicial sense," the Russian top diplomat stressed.

"As for the human rights situation in Donbass, members of international organizations should visit the region," Lavrov went on to say. "Representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk have more than once contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross and various human rights organizations on this matter."

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