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Russian diplomat OSCE mission to check data on Western weapons use in Ukraine

February 06, 2015, 10:56 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
According to Russia’s permanent representative to NATO, there is a lot of evidence that Western-made weapons are used in eastern Ukraine
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Militia fighter shows an audio player with preaching messages found in the debris of the destroyed Donetsk Airport

Militia fighter shows an audio player with preaching messages found in the debris of the destroyed Donetsk Airport

© Nikolay Muravyov/TASS

BRUSSELS, February 6. /TASS/. The mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should check the data on the use of Western-made weapons in Ukraine, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko told Russian journalists on Friday, commenting on the results of a meeting of defense ministers of 28 NATO countries that was held in Brussels on Thursday.

"Already today there is a lot of evidence that Western-made weapons are used there, there is also information that NATO calibre shells have been used. And, of course, we expect experts of the OSCE mission, which has the relevant competence, to give their opinion on this subject," he said.

Grushko said NATO leadership says that on the provision of military assistance to Kiev that "the assistance is mainly advisory, by non-lethal equipment within the framework of five trust funds."

"[NATO] Secretary General [Jens] Stoltenberg on Thursday made another statement that NATO is not supplying weapons to Ukraine and that the question of the supply of lethal weapons is beyond the competence of NATO," said Grushko. "The North Atlantic Alliance’s leadership draws a line between the supplies by the alliance and by NATO member states. However, in terms of the real situation on the ground there is no difference whether NATO’s weapons or weapons of individual NATO countries are supplied. In any case, we proceed from the assumption that such supplies are inadmissible, as they significantly worsen the situation and may lead to the most dangerous and unpredictable consequences."

"We’re on the lookout for that, because the delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine would mean a new stage in the conflict escalation and another incentive signal to the authorities in Kiev to continue military operations against their own people. This will significantly weaken the chances for transition to a political settlement, and will, as a matter of fact, violate numerous international obligations that prohibit such supplies. That is, it will also deal a blow to the arms control regime and the weapons transfer regimes," said the Russian ambassador to NATO.

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