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No grounds for increasing OSCE mission in Ukraine — Russian envoy

April 16, 2015, 12:37 UTC+3

The special monitoring mission has 500 monitors at the moment, including 350 people who are working in Ukraine, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Andrey Kelin, says

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MOSCOW, April 16 /TASS/. There are no grounds for increasing the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Andrey Kelin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said on Thursday.

"The mission has 500 monitors at the moment, including 350 people who are working in Ukraine. More monitors are being hired. Another 40 people are expected to arrive soon. We think that the SMM is working normally and there are no grounds to ask for increasing the peacekeeping contingent," Kelin said.

The process of forming working sub-groups in the Contact Group on Ukraine will not start until Kiev announces its representatives, Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE went on to say.

"The process of forming sub-groups [in the Contact Group] will start when full agreement is reached on the parameters of work in these sub-groups, about its participants," Kelin said. "At the moment, all sides have announced their representatives, while the Ukrainian side still hasn’t," he added.

The diplomat said that Kiev promised to announce its representatives to the sub-groups during yesterday’s videoconference, but failed to fulfill its promise. "That’s why we see once again here that the Ukrainian side is dragging out the start of its very important work," Kelin said. "The work is very important precisely because nothing can be done without political settlement," he added.

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