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Russia expects OSCE mission recommendations on sending observers to Ukrainian border

July 18, 2014, 16:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Kiev fears that the OSCE observers will be able to see the real state of affairs at the checkpoints and record that no military equipment passes through them, Rusisan Ambassador to the OSCE says
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© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Kronberg

MOSCOW, July 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian side expects conclusions and recommendations of the OSCE assessment mission that has set off for the Russian Rostov region to explore the possibility of sending observers to the checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said at a meeting of the organisation’s standing committee in Vienna. The text of his address is posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Friday.

“As a goodwill gesture, not waiting until the ceasefire regime is established, we have invited the OSCE observers to the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border,” the diplomat noted. “The assessment group is already working on site, and we expect its conclusions and recommendations. It would be a pity if the group fails to visit the checkpoints themselves due to the continuing shelling from the Ukrainian territory.”

The Russian ambassador expressed bewilderment at comments by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to the effect that the deployment of OSCE monitors at the Russian checkpoints would allegedly “misguide the international community” and even “discredit the Ukrainian leadership’s efforts.” “To all appearances, Kiev fears that the OSCE observers will be able to see the real state of affairs at the checkpoints and record that no military equipment passes through them,” Kelin believes.

“Indeed, it’s a real practical measure that should help us allay the unjustified fears of imaginary transfers of weapons and military equipment across the border and it thus will promote de-escalation of the situation,” he continued.

“As for the usual imaginary convoys of Russian armoured vehicles and the participation of Russian military specialists in combat actions, as the phrase goes, ‘terror magnifies objects.’ There is no serious evidence testifying to this. It is inadmissible to blame Russia for the oddity and tactical faults of (Ukraine’s) own military.”

The Russian diplomat recalled in this regard the direct transfer of several armoured vehicles from the Ukrainian army to the people’s militia fighters in Sloviansk in April. “Apparently, they continue this practice.” “Many weapons were seized at the depots of military units or left on the battlefield. Most likely, most of the weapons were bought on the black market that is practiced in that country on a large scale. A more credible version is that not Russia is the main supplier (of arms) to the militias, but (Ukraine’s) internal sources - it’s the sale of armaments from depots and off the shelf.

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