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VIENNA, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Lamberto Zannier, has requested EU support for expanding the Organization’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
Zannier said the mission should ensure objective fact-finding as the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.
“What we are seeing in the eastern part of Ukraine is extremely troubling. The neutral observation and factual reporting carried out by OSCE monitors contributes to creating conditions for deescalation of this dangerous situation,” Zannier said.
He stressed the importance of OSCE monitoring and appealed to all sides to refrain from violence and engage in dialogue.
The Special Monitoring Mission has been working in Ukraine for the past two weeks after its deployment was agreed by the 57 OSCE participating states. Its purpose is to monitor events all over the country and gather neutral information, contributing to reducing tensions. Around one hundred observers are currently deployed in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Chernovtsy, Luhansk, and Kiev.
Observers continue work in Ukraine
Russia’s Permanent Representative to OSCE Andrei Kelin earlier this week that the OSCE monitoring mission had to continue its work in Ukraine.
“It is also important for the monitoring mission to continue working in Ukraine and gather objective and impartial facts about the state of affairs. It is important for the mission to work smoothly and make real assessments of events,” he said.
The diplomat said an additional 200 observers would be deployed in Ukraine before May 5.
He said that the number of observers might be increased to 500 persons in accordance with the mandate approved by the OSCE Permanent Council on March 21.
Kelin said Russia supported the idea of sending more observers to Ukraine. “I see no obstacle to that because the mission’s work has so far raised no complaints or concerns,” he said.
On April 14, international military observers have arrived in Ukraine in compliance with the OSCE Vienna Document on Confidence and Security Building Measures.
The mission includes inspectors from the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Belgium, and Luxembourg, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The purpose of the mission “is to visit south-eastern regions and record facts of possible unusual military activities and provocations aimed at destabilising the situation in Ukraine”, he said.
The inspection initiated by the Netherlands has replaced the Poland-led mission which was in Ukraine from April 3 to April 13.