: :inin Kyiv (EET)

OSCE SMM in Donbas to be extended including observations during the nighttime

Foreign Minister of Austria, OSCE head Sebastian Kurz plans to expand work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM ) in Donbas.

OSCE observers will receive more than seven hundred additional technical means in Donbas and their mission in the region will be extended. Actually the number of observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) will increase and will be organized observations during the nighttime. In fact a lot of clashes and shooting happens at night when the OSCE mission does not monitor the situation.

Foreign Minister of Austria visited Ukraine on on January 3, 2017, and on January 16-17, 2017. He also visited the Russian Federation and had the official talks with his Russian counterpart and noted a decisive role of Moscow in solving the conflicts in Europe in general and “a great responsibility” of Russia in resolving Donbas armed conflict in particular.

See also:The OSCE Chairman Sebastian Kurz visits Donbas warzone

Ukrainian experts have positively reacted to the earlier proclaimed by Kurz intention to increase the number of observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and organize their observations during the nighttime.
Sebastian Kurz in his interview for Russian media said that relaxing sanctions is only possible after a full implementation of Minsk agreements by Moscow. At the same time he noted that lifting of sanctions will only be in part unrelated to sanctions for Crimea annexation.

See also:OSCE SMM work in Donbas needs serious improvements – OSCE Chairman Kurz

The biggest problem Kurz considers the lack of trust between the parties:

“The Ukrainian side does not trust Russia. And Moscow has the impression that the EU is not interested in good relations with Russia, but only in resolving the conflict,” he said.

Kurz thanked the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who chaired the OSCE last year, and praised the German mediated initiatives. OSCE head tries to make progress using the policy of “small steps”.

“The situation today is better than before,” said Kurt and added that Austria will try to keep those small steps to resolve the conflict.

See also: Russian members of OSCE in Donbas are GRU or FSB officers – Ukrainian Major General


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