VIENNA, June 19. /TASS/. Russia’s permanent representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE) Andrei Kelin said on Friday the OSCE monitoring mission at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints at the Russian-Ukrainian border was working properly.
He told TASS commenting on the OSCE Permanent Council’s decision to extend the mission’s mandate at the border till September 30 that Russia was ready to invite monitors for a longer term. "We were ready to extend it [the mission’s mandate] for up to six months to make it easier to plan both the mission’s financing and its composition but one country objected against the mandate’s extension for a longer period using far-fetched pretexts," he said.
The Russian diplomat said that the issue of the mandate’s extending to more checkpoints had been raised at the Permanent Council’s meeting again. He said the Russian side saw no need in this step. "We believe the mission is working properly at Gukovo and Donetsk. It monitors the situation and controls who and how crosses the border," Kelin said.
The initial decision to deploy OSCE monitors at the Russian-Ukrainian border was taken on July 24, 2014. The mandate has been extended every three months ever since. Each time the OSCE was to extend the mandate, some Western powers advanced a proposal to deploy OSCE monitors at other border checkpoints.