MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the OSCE Mission in Ukraine is capable of monitoring the implementation of the peace plan unveiled by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on June 20.
“All provisions of the peace plan can be monitored — from ceasefire to amnesty. This complies with the current OSCE mandate. It is rather flexible,” Russian Ambassador to the OSCE Andrei Kelin told ITAR-TASS on Monday. The OSCE can also use other possibilities, particularly the potential of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Ethnic Minorities, he said.
“Switzerland’s three representatives are now working ‘on the ground’. They are Tim Guldimann, Heidi Tagliavini and Pierre Morel. They can play a coordinating role,” Kelin said. “I can’t imagine a peacekeeping operation because the disengagement line in the east of Ukraine is rather long. It will take a huge amount of resources even if the UN is able to provide them,” he said. “The OSCE accumulates certain experience. But its priorities are pre-crisis response and post-conflict settlement,” Kelin said.
Major task is to control ceasefire
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told ITAR-TASS, “We’d like to get more detailed information on the events in the east and south-east of Ukraine, and the assessment of the actions conducted by Ukrainian Armed Forces and National Guard." “Now, the major task is to control the ceasefire and extend the truce. If the truce is reliable and long-term, the OSCE can monitor it,” he said.
“The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe asked us to increase the number of Russian observers to 40,” he said, adding that “Russia made $600,000 voluntary contribution to the mission’s work". Commenting on whether Russia upholds the extension of the existing mandate of OSCE observers, Meshkov said, “Now it is early to talk about it.” “We will watch the situation in Ukraine, and then we will take a decision,” he said.
“We’re sure that the mission is one of the most significant factors in the conflict resolution,” he said. “The Ukrainian parties themselves should decide because this is the internal Ukrainian conflict,” Meshkov said. He said, “We believe that the mission should be increased to the agreed strength of 500 people.” At present, the mission numbers about 300 people. Twelve specialists from Russia were working with the OSCE mission, Meshkov said.