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Germany, France in talks with OSCE on assistance to observes in Ukraine

October 05, 2014, 9:25 UTC+3 BERLIN
They are talking on what kind of effective support can be provided to the OSCE in the context of its tasks in Ukraine
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BERLIN, October 5. /TASS/. The German government jointly with the French leadership are in negotiations with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe on the support of the observer mission in Ukraine, an official of the German Foreign Ministry said in Berlin on Saturday.

They are talking on what kind of effective support can be provided to the OSCE in the context of its tasks in Ukraine. The Minsk agreements also say that the ceasefire in the east of Ukraine, as well as the Russian-Ukrainian border should be controlled by the OSCE, the official said.

According to him, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met in Paris on Friday with members of the French government and discussed possible assistance to the OSCE. Nothing has been decided. The difficult legal and political issues must be settled ahead of making the possible decisions, the ministry official said.

The Bild newspaper reported on Saturday that Germany will dispatch Bundeswehr military to Ukraine to protect the OSCE monitoring mission there. The newspaper says the military are currently at manoeuvres in Seedorf, Lower Saxony, not far from Bremen. A total of 200 paratroopers may be sent to Ukraine to control the situation in the crisis regions in Ukraine’s east; 150 of them will be in charge of the work of reconnaissance drones. Another 50 troops will be in charge of the mission protection, Bild writes.

The German Defence Ministry confirmed that Budeswehr was preparing for the participation in the OSCE mission in Ukraine that envisages drones’ servicing. No other details were given and the data on the mission’s personnel number have not been confirmed as well.

The newspaper says that the German-French expert group was insisting on sending the military. They were staying in the east of Ukraine since the middle of September and, getting familiarised with the situation, arrived at the conclusion that the OSCE will be able to perform its ceasefire regime control duties only if its security is ensured. Western counties’ troops can ensure the necessary conditions, the newspaper says,

Bild also writes that Berlin-Paris co-operation agreement on this matter was reached personally by German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales. The publication also quotes German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as saying that it is necessary to stabilise the situation (in the east of Ukraine) and launch the conciliation process.

German troops will be dispatched to Ukraine only if the OSCE decides to use in the monitoring mission the German drones of the LUNA type. In any case, Bundeswehr will be staying there under the OSCE aegis. However, the military will be armed, for which the Bundestag voting is required to approve the mission, says the Defence Ministry.

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