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Poroshenko has no OSCE approval for increasing number of observers to 1,500 — envoy

October 13, 2014, 13:57 UTC+3
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VIENNA, October 13. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has no approval from the Organization for Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE) for expanding the mission of monitors in Ukraine to 1,500 observers, Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE Andrey Kelin told TASS.

Earlier, Poroshenko claimed that he had asked the OSCE to increase the number of monitors to 1,500 and received approval.

The OSCE has dismissed Poroshenko’s statements, adding that the organization’s secretariat has received no such request.

“There is no chance he may have obtained such approval. The maximum strength of the mission remains unchanged: 500,” Kelin said. “That issue has not been considered by the permanent council of discussed,” he added. The OSCE secretariat has confirmed this to TASS.

The spokesman for the current Swiss chairmanship, Roland Bless, too, said no such proposal has been received.

“I know nothing of the sort,” he said, adding that the current mandate envisaged the activity of up to 500 observers, while changing the mandate required a consensus decision by a 57-nation council.

It is noteworthy that the OSCE has to refute Poroshenko’s statements for a second time over one week.

According to the OSCE press-service, on October 7 he asked the OSCE for urgently stepping up the efforts of the special mission of monitors and called for increasing their number to 1,500. The OSCE described his call “premature.”

“We took note of the Ukrainian president’s statements, but the mission’s effective mandate establishes the maximum strength of up to 500 monitors, and we have not achieved that level yet,” an OSCE spokesmen then told TASS.

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