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VIENNA, March 16. /TASS/. The Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has extended the mandate of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine until March 31, 2018, the OSCE said in a statement on Thursday.
"The OSCE Permanent Council, in a consensus decision taken at its meeting in Vienna today, agreed to renew the mandate of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine by one year until March 31, 2018," the statement reads. According to the OSCE, "the decision sets the Mission’s budget at €105.5 million for the period from 1 April 2017 to March 31, 2018." "The OSCE Permanent Council is one of the main regular decision-making bodies of the Organization, bringing together representatives of all 57 OSCE participating States," the statement adds.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine monitors the situation in Ukraine, particularly in the eastern part of the country, as well as takes steps to build dialogue in order to resolve the conflict. Around 700 OSCE personnel currently work in Ukraine. According to its mandate, the OSCE SMM is eligible to send up to 1,000 international observers to Ukraine so OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has been emphasizing the need to increase the number of observers.