LUGANSK, July 20. /TASS/. The destructive position of OSCE coordinator of the humanitarian subgroup in the Contact Group, Charlotta Relander, on settling the situation in Donbass has canceled out all work by subgroup participants accomplished earlier, head of the working group on the exchange of prisoners of war of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Olga Kobtseva stated on Tuesday.
"Today’s meeting of the humanitarian group within the framework of a videoconference, due to the destructive position of the group’s coordinator, represented by Ms. Relander - this was a step back, the step that rendered [null] the previously accomplished work, the previously achieved agreements, which allowed the Ukrainian side to avoid dialogue with the representatives of republics," the Luganskinformcenter news agency quoted her as saying.
The official said that during today's meeting, the OSCE coordinator presented an outrageous initiative in violation of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in the part of searching for individuals missing as a result of the conflict. While discussing this issue, the Ukrainian delegation demanded that the paperwork on the individuals the Donbass republics are looking for on Ukrainian territory be handed over to the OSCE coordinator, while Relander herself, in violation of the neutrality principle, supported this initiative.
"The coordinator asserted that she was ready to take on [these functions] and considered it her authority to participate in the mechanism of searching for the missing," the LPR representative explained. "Naturally, this is a violation of the OSCE mandate, this is a violation of the norms of impartiality and neutrality and this is the non-fulfillment of obligations in facilitating the achievement of agreements between the participants of the negotiations process," she explained.
The LPR also stated that the OSCE representatives intentionally sabotaged the negotiations process, sending incompetent interpreters to the meetings of subgroups. According to the LPR representative, during the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, the interpreters were mixing up last names of the participants and politicians and distorting the essence of the position of the Donbass representatives. In relation to that, the LPR representative was forced to reprimand the OSCE coordinator of the subgroup. "We will consider such steps as intentional sabotage of the negotiations process. If such actions continue, we will consider the possibility of providing the interpreters on our part," she added.
Thus, the statements by the OSCE coordinator violate the OSCE mandate, the key principles of the Mission’s work as well as allow the Ukrainian side to avoid discussing the issues on the agenda. However, the LPR representatives will uphold their positions and intercept improper steps on the part of the OSCE coordinator of the humanitarian subgroup, the official concluded.