On January 3, 2017, the OSCE Chairman, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria Sebastian Kurz arrived to Ukraine and visited Donetsk Region. He wanted to exam personally the state of Minsk agreements’ fulfillment, the social and economic situation in the region caused by the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine and discuss deployment of armed OSCE police mission in Donbas.
See also: Ministers of Ukraine and Austria to discuss deployment of armed OSCE police mission in Donbas
OSCE Chairman Kurz during a joint briefing with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin stated that the work of the mission in Ukraine has to be improved:
“Of course, the mission of the work could be improved. There is still room for the mission to grow. The main disadvantage of the mission is the lack of staff. When I think that observers do not have the level of access to the territory, which they must have, I think about how hard it is sometimes to local residents for a few hours to wait for the passage through the checkpoint. It should be noted that the situation would be much more difficult and worse if it were not for this mission. We will strongly support the work of the mission, not only by technical means. We will do everything to ensure that observers are able to carry out their task as effectively as possible,” said Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria.
“This should also be the basis for the holding of free and fair elections. The second point, which we consider as a priority, is the improvement and facilitation of the humanitarian situation of the local population”, stated Sebastian Kurz.
On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said at a briefing in Kyiv that Sebastian Kurz will visit Ukraine in several weeks:
“We agreed to meet in several weeks – that’s when Sebastian comes to Kyiv. Besides, soon, January 15, we’re going to mark the 25th anniversary of Ukraine-OSCE relations,” said Pavlo Klimkin.
See also: The OSCE Chairman Sebastian Kurz visits Donbas warzone