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Duma speaker hopes for impartiality of OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine

March 31, 2014, 19:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission foresees deployment throughout Ukraine, to the east, south and west of the country

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MOSCOW, March 31. /ITAR-TASS/. State Duma (lower house of parliament) Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said he hoped for the impartiality of the monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine.

“We hope the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine will offer constructive assistance in settling the political crisis in that country,” he said at a meeting with Ranko Krivokapic, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and Montenegrin parliament speaker, on Monday, March 31.

“Its [the OSCE mission’s] work should be objective, impartial and neutral,” Naryshkin said.

The OSCE Permanent Council decided in a special session on Ukraine on 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 normalization of the situation is a further task of the mission.

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.”

Russia was ready from the very beginning to support the deployment of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine, but its Western partners were demanding that its mandate should include a visit to Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian television on March 29.

Replying to a question why Russia had not been ready to support the OSCE mission, Lavrov said: “I would say that our Western and Ukrainian partners were not ready to support it.”

Moscow is used to the fact that the West interpreted everything in the opposite way. “We are used to this. Orwellian talents are still alive,” the minister said.

“Russia was ready to send the mission a week before the decision was finally made. However our partners were demanding with inscrutable stubbornness even though by that time everything was already clear to everyone that we should include in the OSCE mission [mandate] a trip to Crimea as part of Ukraine,” Lavrov said.

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.

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