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MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. The security of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) should be tightened up, besides, coordination between the mission and the parties to the conflict should be enhanced, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following his talks with Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier.
"We began our meeting by discussing the cynical attack which killed an OSCE observer, a US citizen, and left another two observers wounded," the Russian top diplomat said.
According to Lavrov, "in order to do that, the Contact Group, as well as the Joint Center for Control and Coordination, which was set up at the request of (Ukrainian President) Pyotr Poroshenko and consists of Russian and Ukrainian military officers, should step up their activities. We are confident that the mission’s security needs to be tightened up," he added. It is also important to enhance cooperation between the OSCE SMM and the parties to the conflict on both sides of the line of contact," Lavrov added.
"Russia values the OSCE’s contribution to resolving the Ukrainian crisis," the Russian top diplomat stressed. "We also see that the organization is willing to help solve the Transnistria issue and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. There are obstacles preventing these issues from being settled but at least all the external players are determined to create conditions for compromises."
Lavrov pointed out that "Russia has been consistently emphasizing the need to strengthen the OSCE and improve its role in Europe as well as on the global level." "We believe that ensuring security and trust in the OSCE’s area of responsibility and erasing dividing lines should be a priority," the Russian foreign minister said.
On April 23, an OSCE SMM car drove over a mine near the village of Prishib in the Lugansk People’s Republic. As a result, an American paramedic was killed and another two observers, citizens of the Czech Republic and Germany, suffered wounds. According to the LPR security sources, "a Ukrainian secret subversive group was active" in the Prishib area.