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OSCE monitoring mission needs broader representation in Ukraine — Russian envoy

May 15, 2014, 19:03 UTC+3 VIENNA
Russia continues supporting the OSCE monitors in Ukraine as it sees no other alternatives to the organization’s mission
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Russia’s OSCE envoy Andrei Kelin

Russia’s OSCE envoy Andrei Kelin

© EPA/HELMUT FOHRINGER

VIENNA, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should broaden its presence in Ukraine although the organization’s monitoring mission there is subjected to pressure from the current authorities in Kiev, Russia’s OSCE envoy Andrei Kelin said on Thursday.

“We see sterilization of the mission’s reports due to an extensive pressure on it (the mission) on behalf of the Kiev authorities and on behalf of those, who pitched them (the authorities) to power, namely the United States and the European Union,” Kelin said adding that the mission “is in a very complicated situation.”

The diplomat said Russia continues supporting the OSCE monitors in Ukraine as it sees no other alternatives to the organization’s mission.

“There is no other functioning international organization there (in Ukraine),” Kelin said. “If we remove the (OSCE) mission, who do we turn to then? It is impossible to turn to the illegal authorities in Kiev.”

Kelin also said that the OSCE monitoring mission, which also includes 12 Russian specialists, must be expanded further in Ukraine so that “it would reach all regions in the country.”

The Russian diplomat praised the work conducted by Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan.

“Under the conditions of extremely complicated situation in Kiev, he (Apakan) does a good job and does it very effectively,” Kelin said.

The Russian OSCE envoy also reiterated Moscow’s call on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately cease punitive operations against protesters in the south-eastern regions of the country.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev as a result of a coup in February, erupted in the country’s Russian-speaking south-eastern territories after Crimea’s merger with Russia on March 18.

South-eastern Ukrainian protesters, who seek the country’s federalization and demand broader powers for their regions, have seized some of the government buildings in the region.

The Kiev authorities launched the so-called “antiterrorism operation” in eastern Ukraine. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders, had condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian federalization supporters.

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