VIENNA, September 8 (Itar-Tass) - The Ukrainian Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has developed a mechanism to verify reports of alleged violations of a ceasefire in the east of Ukraine, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said Sunday.
The mechanism will be finalized in cooperation with the sides within the next few hours and days, Burkhalter said.
He said discussions were underway on integrating as soon as possible national unmanned aerial vehicles as contributions by participating States into the monitoring disposition of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM).
Burkhalter said the SMM had redeployed in the past two days 59 specialists with experience in the monitoring of ceasefires and added that the SMM was now rapidly recruiting additional monitors.
“Burkhalter expressed his gratitude to participating States for their ongoing support of the SMM and called on them to help expand the mission rapidly by proposing candidates with relevant expertise and by contributing to the funding of this mission,” the OSCE said in a statement on its website.
“He concluded by calling on all sides to ensure implementation of the protocol and constructively engage in further dialogue to this end,” it said.
The trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE) and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR) reached an agreement in Minsk on Friday on cessation of fire in Ukraine’s embattled southeast, troops withdrawal, exchange of prisoners and provision of humanitarian aid.
The Contact Group’s meeting came two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his seven-item plan to settle the crisis in Ukraine after a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Pyotr Poroshenko on Wednesday.
The OSCE published the text of the protocol on joint steps to settle the crisis in Ukraine, adopted September 5, on Sunday. The document contains 12 steps, including non-use of weapons and monitoring of the ceasefire regime by the OSCE, as well as establishment of a safety zone in border regions between Ukraine and Russia.
The document also says power should be decentralized in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine (DPR and LPR), hostages freed, combat operations participants given guarantees that they will not be prosecuted and nationwide dialogue continued.
Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the DPR and LPR, have killed hundreds of civilians, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.