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OSCE decides to send observers to Russian checkpoints — Russian envoy

July 24, 2014, 15:48 UTC+3 VIENNA

The mission is planning to work for three months

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Ukrainian refugees on at a border checkpoint

Ukrainian refugees on at a border checkpoint

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

VIENNA, July 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The OSCE Standing Committee has desided  to send observers to the Russian checkpoints, Russian permanent representative to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said on Thursday.

OSCE monitors will stay at the Russian checkpoints of Donetsk and Gukovo, Rostov region, Kelin said.

The mission is planning to work for three months. Its mandate may be extended by the OSCE Standing Committee decision. Russia put forth a proposal for deploying observers on its territory in late June.

The mission will include 16 civil specialists, who will work around-the-clock and a group of administrative and logistic support. The OSCE is planning to provide 320,000 euro for the mission’s initial deployment.

The observers’ task is to monitor the checkpoints work and movement across the border under the principles of non-interference and transparency.

The mission will be headquartered in the town of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, the north of the region. “The leading group will be ready to go to the spot in the 24 hours,” Kelin said.

He praised the OSCE decision “although certain delegations, including the US, tried to diminish its significance”.

“This is an important step,” he said.

 Russia will be ready to invite Ukrainian observers to the checkpoints of Donetsk and Gukovo after a lasting truce is declared, Russian envoy to the OSCE Andrei Kelin added.

“The foreign ministers said in Berlin that Ukrainian border guards could be involved in monitoring the border only if a lasting truce was reached,” Kelin said.

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