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New OSCE observers arrive in Ukraine as peace process underway

September 30, 2014, 19:30 UTC+3 KIEV

Austria is expected to supply first unmanned aerial vehicles to Ukraine in the near future for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission,

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© ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Sazonchik

KIEV, September 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Over the last 48 hours twenty-five new members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission have arrived in Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgeny Perebeinos said on Tuesday.

After their training in Kiev the OSCE representatives will leave for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions at the end of this week. “They will join the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s 78 members who are working there,” he said.

“Austria is expected to supply first unmanned aerial vehicles to Ukraine in the near future for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission,” Perebeinos said.

Earlier, spokesman to the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Andrei Lysenko said there was no information when unmanned aerial vehicles were supplied to Ukraine for the OSCE members.

The use of such weaponry “would help the activity of international observers”, Lysenko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had a telephone talk with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, September 29, to discuss the problem of sending unmanned aerial vehicles to Ukraine for monitoring the situation in the safe zone created by the ceasefire.

The Ukrainian presidential press service said Poroshenko “voiced concern over the fact that the OSCE Mission has not received unmanned aerial vehicles yet under the preliminary agreements”.

Peace process underway in Ukraine’s southeast

Peace settlement process has intensified in Ukraine’s southeast as the region’s authorities start rebuilding the Donbass.

According to reports from regional centers in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, authorities manage to coordinate activities to normalise the situation. Salaries and pensions are being paid on a regular basis. Work is underway to rebuild schools and childcare centers.

Infographics Map of combat actions in Ukraine's east on September 22-28

Map of combat actions in Ukraine's east on September 22-28

Eastern Ukraine's Donetsk was shelled on September 28. Artillery fire hit Kuibyshevsky district of the city. Infographics by TASS
Minsk agreements and ceasefire plan

Implementation of a peace plan in Ukraine has started after one-on-one talks between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine in the Belarussian capital Minsk in August on the sidelines of a summit conference of the Customs Union, the European Union and Ukraine in connection with Kiev’s plans for ratifying the association agreement with the European Union.

Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko then had more than two hours of talks in private. A week later Putin presented a seven-point peace plan, which later formed the basis of resolutions adopted by the Contact Group for Ukraine to start the peace process in the southeast of Ukraine.

One of the plan’s points concerned rehabilitation of infrastructures, such as roads, bridges and buildings in the war-ravaged east.

Some 1,300 schools for 77,000 students will open in the Donetsk region on October 1. Under a decree by Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, the main language of instruction there will be Russian, but children can also be taught in Ukrainian at their parents' request.

“There are 150 schools in Donetsk, and 126 of them will be opened,” said Education Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Kostenok. “Some 150 kindergartens will resume work with 95% of the preschool staff ready to return to work.”

The situation with salary payments is also being settled. First of all, there are plans to pay off debts to teachers and university professors in districts which have been most seriously affected by the fighting in the east, Kostenok told ITAR-TASS.

The first 1,700 retirees in the Luhansk region have already received their pensions. Residents of the worst-hit districts in the city of Lugansk are paid first, said Kostenok, adding that more pensions would be paid after postal service operations were restored. On September 25, the Lugansk authorities also started paying salaries to teachers and doctors.

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