MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russia is hoping that the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (OSCW SMM) to Ukraine will be successfully extended, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said in a statement Tuesday.
"We hope that the situation involving the extension of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine mandate will be smoothly resolved and the mission will be able to objectively and impartially address all the tasks which are set out in it for the sake of establishing peace in Donbass and achieving stability and national accord in the Ukrainian society," she noted.
The diplomat underlined that Russia makes a significant contribution to the OSCE SMM operation and is interested in the mission’s effective and unbiased work both in Donbass and the rest of Ukraine. "According to the mandate, observers should not only impartially monitor the human rights situation, including rights of national minorities, in good faith but also ‘provide support to their observance’," Zakharova stressed.
The statement also underlines that Kiev’s statement accusing Russia of Ukrainian misfortunes and miseries "are a clear example of Ukraine’s disinformation and propaganda." The mission’s work, as the spokeswoman pointed out, is now especially pertinent when Kiev "is ramping up military preparations in Donbass, stages provocations there, doubles down on shelling of civil infrastructure, when Neo-Nazism is encouraged in Ukraine, dissent is cracked down on, freedom of the press is encroached upon and rights of all people wishing to speak their mother tongue and study using it are infringed upon."
"The mission should actively point to these violations and encourage the Kiev authorities to honor their obligations assumed in the OSCE and under the Package of Measures endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2202. Last year, the mission published a report about victims and civil infrastructure destruction in Donbass since 2017 which clearly shows that civilian population primarily suffers from shelling of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We are expecting a similar document with the statistics encompassing the whole period of the conflict," the document reads.
The OSCE SMM has been operating in Ukraine since 2014. The decision to form it was unanimously backed by all 57 member states. The mission includes around 1,000 observers. The mission mandate should be extended annually and currently expires on March 31.