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Four drones arrive in Ukraine for OSCE monitors - Russian diplomat

September 26, 2014, 13:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The format of the drones' operation is yet unclear
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An unmanned aerial vehicle (archive)

An unmanned aerial vehicle (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Zhernov

MOSCOW, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The first four drones are arriving in Ukraine on Friday for the monitors of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Russia’s ambassador to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said Friday.

“Four drones are coming, these are small reconnaissance aircraft by a private Austrian firm,” the diplomat said, adding: “They will be performing flights as part of the testing."

“The format of their operation is yet unclear,” Kelin said, explaining that the issue has yet to be discussed with the self-defense militias in eastern Ukraine.

“If their use is not agreed with the militias, they won’t fly for long,” he stressed.

According to Kelin, Germany could supply several other unmanned aerial vehicles to Kiev.

“So far, these are very simple vehicles, only one of them may be in the air for 24 hours,” he added.

Use of OSCE drones in eastern Ukraine

Two weeks ago, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko allowed the OSCE monitors to use drones in the east of the country.

Poroshenko and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter also agreed to increase the number of monitors and provide them with better technical means for monitoring and verification.

The OSCE Secretariat earlier said that the drones would be used to monitor the Ukrainian-Russian border and in compliance with the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk on September 5.

The sides agreed that the drones will be supplied by the Austrian company Schiebel. It will provide two S-100 vertical take-off and landing drone systems, a control station, six operators, and three mechanics.

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