OSCE monitors do not report on Russian troops in Donbas, because those soldiers do not sport the Russian insignia on their uniform, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said in an interview with TSN, commenting on the statement of OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, who said that the organization could not confirm the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.
”In fact, everyone understands that the Russian regular troops are there. We know from our intelligence reports. Our partners and allies also know it. But in fact, when the SMM OSCE is in Donbas, there are no Russian troops sporting Russian uniform and holding their [Russian] weapons – so the CMM formally does not see the Russian troops there, and this is what Zannier meant. But we know very well that there are Russian troops there, they certainly sport different uniform, they direct the activities in Donbas, from minor operations up to the fact that the military management of all is done from Rostov and Moscow,” Klimkin said.
However, Foreign Minister acknowledged that the OSCE is in a state of a difficult crisis. According to Klimkin, the crisis has been caused by the behavior of Russia, which ”tries to kill both the OSCE and the main principles, on which the organization was built.”
”In fact, now there is blocking of the work of all OSCE institutions, and not only regarding what is happening around Donbas. But a fundamental issue for us is what the OSCE needs to do in terms of enhancing the monitoring mission, what can be done regarding an armed police mission, how the OSCE can effectively participate in the [work of the] trilateral contact group,” Klimkin said.
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier earlier said in Kyiv that, based on the SMM reports, he could not confirm the presence of Russian military units in Donbas.
”When people ask me whether there are Russian troops in the Donbas region, I say that according to our observers, there are no troops, but we see the presence of military equipment from outside. Aslo we see a large presence of equipment and fuel, it also came from somewhere. In addition, there are foreign officers”, Zannier said, according to 112 TV channel.