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Didier Burkhalter: Additional funding indispensable for OSCE Mission enlargement

April 22, 2014, 19:54 UTC+3 VIENNA
The OSCE Secretariat has drafted proposals for reinforcing the Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
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© EPA/PETER KLAUNZER

VIENNA, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Support for the Geneva agreement on the de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine will require a specialized review by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the organization’s Chairman-in-Office, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said.

The foreign ministers of Russia, the United States, the European Union, and Ukraine adopted a statement on the de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine at their meeting in Geneva on Thursday, April 17. The statement urged all parties to refrain from violence, intimidation and provocative actions.

The OSCE Secretariat has drafted proposals for reinforcing the Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Burkhalter said on Tuesday.

Additional funding will be indispensable for strengthening of the Mission, he said.

The OSCE chairman-in-office has also emphasized the need for political support to the international mediators on Ukraine.

The European Union, Russia and the United States should provide multifaceted support to the Ukrainian authorities and local communities, as well as to the OSCE Monitoring Mission, Didier Burkhalter said.

Members of the Geneva four-party talks should urge the conflicting parties in Ukraine to give up the use of force, to leave administrative buildings, streets and squares and to surrender arms, Burkhalter said on Tuesday.

 

Monitoring mission in Ukraine

On March 21, the OSCE Permanent Council approved the decision to send a monitoring mission to Ukraine. The mission includes 100 civilian experts whose number can increase to 500, if necessary. The mission will work for six months. In early April Burkhalter said the number of OSCE observers could be boosted to up to 300.

The mission is headquartered in Kiev. Field offices are located in nine Ukrainian regions — Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Chernivtsi, and Luhansk. The OSCE has no mandate to go into Crimea. Any changes in the mission’s geographic coverage should be authorized by the OSCE Permanent Council.

Russian President Vladimir Putin who met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Moscow March 20, said the UN chief asked for a possibility to send an OSCE and UN 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 said.

“We have almost reached an agreement on the draft document with the OSCE Standing Council. We ensured that alongside the eastern and south-eastern 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,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The 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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