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OSCE is sending observers to Ukraine without extending their mandate to Crimea

March 22, 2014, 1:08 UTC+3 VIENNA
The mission will include 100 civilian experts whose number can increase to 400 if necessary
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© EPA/HELMUT FOHRINGER

VIENNA, March 22, /ITAR-TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has agreed to send an observer mission to Ukraine after two weeks of consultations.

The United Nations is expected to set up its observer offices in dozens of Ukrainian cities, including Kherson, Odessa, Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, Kharkov, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernovtsy, Lugansk and Kiev following a decision of the OSCE Standing Council adopted on Friday.

Any changes in the mission’s geographic coverage should be authorized by the OSCE Standing Council. The mission will include 100 civilian experts whose number can increase to 400 if necessary.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Russian Security Council meeting chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that the Russian Foreign Ministry and the OSCE had practically agreed on a draft to resolution to send the organization’s mission to Ukraine, including its western and central regions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin who met U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Moscow last Thursday, March 20, said the U.N. chief asked for a possibility to send an OSCE and U.N. observer missions to Ukraine’s eastern and southeastern provinces.

“I would like you to continue discussing this matter with our partners and find a solution,” Putin told Lavrov.

“We have almost reached an agreement on the draft document with the OSCE Standing Council. We ensured that alongside the eastern and southeastern parts of Ukraine, the list of regions to be covered by the OSCE observer missions would also include western and central regions which have seen very unpleasant incidents in recent months,” Lavrov went on to say.

The Russian foreign minister added that the number of observers and regions where they are going to be sent had been fixed.

“Any change in these agreements concerning an increase in the number of monitors or regions should be authorized by the OSCE Standing Council. We are going to proceed from you instructions,” Lavrov stressed.

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