: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine wants up to 20,000 strong OSCE police mission in Donbas – German official

Ukraine offers that the armed police mission of the OSCE in Donbas amount to 18,000-20,000 people, said Gernot Erler, Special Representative of the Federal Government of Germany for the OSCE Chairmanship in 2016 and coordinator for intersocietal cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership countries, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

Erler noted that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after a Normandy Four meeting in Berlin had mentioned the issue of the OSCE mission, but it was not on top agenda of the negotiations.

The German official also reminded of the pretext for the possible introduction of such mission, that is ensuring security at the local elections in eastern Ukraine. However, as Erler noted, there is no consensus between the Ukrainian and the Russian parties as well as the so-called separatist leaders.

Stressing the fact that Ukraine has long advocated for the deployment of such mission, the German official said that the issue was not an easy one as there has never been such an armed police mission of the OSCE before. All 57 OSCE participating states have to agree with such a proposal. Ukraine sees this armed mission to be 18,000- 20,000 strong, according to Erler.

He added that only the OSCE has so far  provided only 700-800 monitors, claiming it was difficult to find even such number of qualified people to join the mission, not to say about larger numbers.

As UNIAN reported earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in the Normandy format in Berlin October 19.

At a press conference after talks, Poroshenko said that the Normandy Four leaders had endorsed French and German proposals for the main criteria of the roadmap of the implementation of Minsk agreements.

Also, according to the president of Ukraine, Russia supported the idea of the need to deploy in Donbas an armed OSCE police mission.


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