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OSCE chairman expects UN mission to be deployed to Ukraine

September 20, 2017, 20:33 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

The OSCE chief says Ukraine and Russia should harmonize their positions so that a UN security mission could be deployed to Donbass

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UNITED NATIONS, September 20. /TASS/. Ukraine and Russia should harmonize their positions so that a UN security mission could be deployed to Donbass to protect the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission members, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said summing up his participation in the UN General Assembly’s session.

According to him, as OSCE chair, he paid special attention to the Ukrainian crisis, security problems and the fight against terrorism.

"As for Ukraine, our goal is not only to strengthen the observer mission, which will allow to monitor the ceasefire better, but also to pave the way for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in order to improve the situation concerning the monitors’ safety," he said. "This issue is currently under consideration, the positions of Ukraine, Russia and other parties need to be harmonized, but I hope that the mission will become a reality by the end of the day," Kurz added.

On September 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin handed instructions to the Foreign Ministry to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council, stipulating the deployment of UN peacekeepers to Donbass in order to ensure the OSCE mission members’ security. Putin pointed out that the deployment of the UN forces would become possible only after the weapons withdrawal process completed and the issue was agreed on with the self-proclaimed Donbass republics. The Russian president said that the deployment of the UN forces could help resolve the Ukrainian issue. On September 11, in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin agreed it might be possible to deploy UN peacekeepers not only along the line of contact in Donbass.

According to the Austrian sources in the OSCE, the organization welcomes initiatives aimed at resolving the Ukrainian crisis and believes it important to ensure the safety of monitors, but first of all, the UN Security Council needs to make a decision on the UN mission.

The OSCE have more than once called the parties to the Ukrainian conflict to stop intimidating its monitors and ensure their security by removing mines. However, in April, one of the monitors died when an OSCE car drove over a landmine. But even after that the number of dangerous incidents involving OSCE monitors did not decline and the security situation still remains tense.

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