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Russia favors extending OSCE monitoring mission’s mandate in Ukraine — foreign ministry

The OSCE SMM mandate expires on March 31, 2019

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russia favors extending by another year the mandate of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

The OSCE SMM has been present in Ukraine since 2014. Its mandate expires on March 31, 2019.

"We favor extending the SMM mandate by another 12 months, so that its members could continue the implementation of their assigned tasks," the ministry said.

"We expect to achieve mutually acceptable solutions for the yet-unresolved issues of financing and staffing shortly after that," it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated that Russia was among those who helped to create the mission, which helps to stabilize the situation in southeastern Ukraine and "renders important assistance to Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk in implementing the Minsk Agreements." The mission’s goal is to assist in reaching national accord in Ukraine, Moscow said.