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German FM meets Ukraine’s acting president, PM

March 22, 2014, 20:09 UTC+3 KIEV
1 pages in this article

KIEV, March 22, /ITAR-TASS/. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday, March 22, met with Ukraine’s parliament-appointed acting President Alexander Turchinov and separately with parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk.

Steinmeier stressed that “Europe understands the burden of responsibility the new authorities have assumed” in Ukraine.

He said a monitoring mission with a mandate from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would arrive in Ukraine shortly. “The 400-member mission will soon come to Ukraine to monitor the situation in the country,” he told Turchninov.

The OSCE Permanent Council decided in a special session on Ukraine on Friday, March 21, to deploy an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission of international observers to Ukraine: the mission’s aim is to contribute to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security.

Throughout the country, the mission will gather information and report on the security situation as well as establish and report facts regarding incidents, including those concerning alleged violations of fundamental OSCE principles and commitments. It will also monitor the human rights situation in the country, including the rights of national minorities. Facilitating dialogue on the ground to promote normalisation of the situation is a further task of the mission.

The mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission foresees deployment throughout Ukraine, to the east, south and west of the country. Advance teams will be deployed within 24 hours of the adoption of this decision. Initially, the mission will consist of 100 civilian monitors and may expand by a total of up to 400 additional monitors. The monitoring mission will be deployed for a period of six months, its mandate can be renewed for further six month periods by decision of the Permanent Council if requested by Ukraine.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter, welcomed the decision to deploy a Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. “The OSCE and the Swiss Chairmanship”, Burkhalter said, “will continue their efforts to rebuild bridges and find cooperative solutions to the major political and security challenges that Europe is now confronted with.”

Steinmeier also met separately with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to discuss energy security in Ukraine, military-technical cooperation, the fight against corruption, and demonopolisation of the Ukrainian economy.

“We need reverse gas supplies from EU countries in order to ensure Ukraine’s energy security,” Yatsenyuk said after the talks, adding that Steinmeier and he had also discussed European assistance in reequipping the Ukrainian army.

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