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VIENNA, November 17. /TASS/. Countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday plan to discuss the extension of the OSCE monitoring mission’s period of stay on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Andrey Kelin told TASS on Monday. According to him, the Russian side is ready to extend the monitors’ work period for three more months in the existing format.
“The decision should be made this Thursday. It’s about the mission’s prolongation for three more months,” he said. The Russian diplomat also said that Russia did not intend to expand the mission of the monitors that are currently stationed at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints to other checkpoints and sections of the border. “The mission’s expansion is not planned, it will only be extended,” Kelin added.
According to him, a number of OSCE member countries continue to insist on the expansion of the mission’s mandate. “But we reliably protect the Russian side of the state border,” he said, adding that admitting OSCE to border posts would be “a sovereign right and goodwill gesture.”
The decision to send the monitoring mission was made on July 24, 2014. The mission’s three-month mandate envisioned the monitors’ deployment at the Russian checkpoints Donetsk and Gukovo. In October, the OSCE Permanent Council extended the mission’s work period until November 24.