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High-rank diplomat says Russia not obstructing drone operations in Donbass

December 16, 2014, 2:28 updated at: December 16, 2014, 5:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Problems emerged only with the use of purely military drones, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said

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MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Data provided by the Russian military refutes the claims by the Ukrainian defence officials that Russian technology experts are jamming the drones of the European security organization OSCE, which gather information for its monitoring mission, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said in an interview published on Tuesday by Kommersant Daily.

“The OSCE special monitoring mission is working in Ukraine in line with a mandated endorsed this March by the organization’s Permanent Council,” he said. “It spells out in clear terms the tasks of the mission, dates, places of the monitors’ location, and the patterns of reporting to the OSCE coordinating agencies.”

When a reporter asked him if there had been any complications in the monitors’ activity, Meshkov said: “Problems emerged only with the use of purely military drones.”

“Consultations on the possible uses of drones continue in Vienna among Switzerland as the holder of current chairman of the OSCE, Ukraine and the countries that can supply those aircraft potentially, and Russia is one of these countries,” he said.

“Coordination process has been dragged because of legal problems, in the first place.”

“These problems are related to the deployment of military on the Ukrainian territory, the character of data transmission, and so on,” Meshkov said. “Contacts continue and we’ll see. A total of four drones of Austrian manufacture are already in eastern Ukraine now and the number there may increase.”

Along with it, he refuted the claims that Russian experts allegedly warring on the side of Donbass self-defence forces are obstructing the operations of OSCE drones.

“We know perfectly well the ability of our Ukrainian counterparts to refract information,” Meshkov said. “The data provided by our military refutes their claims.” 

Also he said, that declaration on the role of the European security organization OSCE in settling the conflict in Ukraine that was drafted by Washington and Kiev was not passed at the session of the organization in Basel as it ran counter to the opinion of a number of member-states.

“This document wasn’t adopted because of the willingness of some delegations - or to be more precise, two specific delegations - to stuff it with overtly anti-Russian escapades,” he said. “But to tell you frankly, no one expected this declaration to be adopted because it ran counter to the opinion of a whole number of OSCE member-states from the very start.”

When a reporter asked what countries objected to it, Meshkov said: “Quite naturally, it was Russia in the first place because the document was used as a purely political piece of prop.”

“If the authors of the document had had an intention to contribute to settlement of the conflict in practical terms, its destiny would have been entirely different,” he said.

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