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Kremlin says possible to discuss OSCE monitoring, not police mission in Donbass

According to Vladimir Putin's press secretary, the monitoring mission can be armed

MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. The possible mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Donbass should have a monitoring, not police character, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said commenting on the recent phone conversation between the leaders of the Normandy Four countries.

"[The discussion concerns] a monitoring mission in Donbass, in our understanding this is not a police mission," Peskov said, adding that the issue is particularly on arming this mission.

"In theory, it can be armed," he said, adding that as the members of the mission are not servicemen, the issue is "how they will use these armaments." Peskov added that many other issues in this context arise and therefore the discussion will continue.

Possibility of deploying OSCE mission in Donbass concerns only contact line

The press secretary noted that the OSCE monitoring mission in Donbass may be deployed only on the contact line, not on the border with Russia.

"It only concerns the contact line - the line that lies between the self-defense forces and Ukrainian Armed Forces," Peskov said. He reminded that the issue of control over the border is outlined in the Minsk Agreements. "That’s why there is nothing to discuss here, they [Minsk Agreements] are signed by Ukraine and other members of the Normandy Four," the spokesman noted.

Enhancing OSCE mission needs to be agreed with Donbass

According to the official, the OSCE monitoring mission may be deployed in Donbass only upon agreement from representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR and LPR).

‘We are talking about the contact line. The agreement of self-defense forces, agreement of Donbass representatives is also important here," Peskov said commenting on the possibility of deploying a mission of the OSCE in the region. The spokesman added that it is important to agree on the configuration of the mission as well.

Elections to be agreed with Donetsk, Lugansk in one package with amnesty

Peskov has also pointed out that the issue of holding elections in Donbass must be agreed with the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and in one package with other issues, including amnesty.

"We believe that making such decisions in defiance of the opinion of Donbass representatives will be impossible. Such decisions have no implementation prospects," Peskov said.

He recalled that earlier Kiev presented its proposals for applying purely Ukrainian electoral legislation to the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass.

"Those proposals were studied by Russia together with Donbass representatives. Counterproposals were voiced in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Minsk Accords," Peskov said about last night’s telephone conversation by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in the Normandy format.

He emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach involving elections, amnesty and other issues in strict compliance with the letter and spirit of the Minsk Accords.

More frequent ceasefire violations endanger truce in Donbass 

The Kremlin official has also stressed that the number of ceasefire violations in Donbass is growing, which endangers the peace process.

He remarked that the issue of truce in the region was very acute.

"Ceasefire violations are getting more frequent, regrettably. This endangers truce," Peskov said adding that the cessation of hostilities was a "corner stone of the Minsk Accords."

Vladimir Putin expressed concern over that in last night’s telephone discussion in the Normandy format, he added.