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Russia Won’t Extend Mandate of OSCE Observer Mission at Russia’s Border Crossing Points

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On 2 September, during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, the Russian Federation announced a decision of the Russian President not to support the existing broad consensus within the OSCE on extending the mandate of the OSCE Observer Mission at Russian state border checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk after 30 September 2021.

“The implementation of this intention is a continuation of Russia’s actions aimed at deliberate sabotage of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, in particular paragraph 4 of the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, which provides for a permanent OSCE monitoring and verification of the Ukraine-Russia state border,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reports.

Diplomats see Russia’s decision as evidence of its plans to continue and increase the supply of weapons, military equipment, ammunition, regular troops, and mercenaries to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which may lead to further escalation in the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Ukraine strongly condemns this destructive position of the Russian Federation and considers it in the context of Moscow’s other actions aimed at blocking the progress in international political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. Ensuring transparency on the Ukraine-Russia border is an integral prerequisite for resolving the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Ukraine reaffirms its willingness to work closely with the Swedish OSCE Chairmanship, the Participating States, and the OSCE Secretary-General to develop and implement joint steps, including the use of all available OSCE instruments and mechanisms, as well as to prevent and minimise the negative consequences of Russia’s destructive initiative, announced ahead of the Zapad 2021 (West 2021) military drills.

“Ukraine demands that the Russian Federation immediately cease its destructive actions against the OSCE Observer Mission, fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements in full, in order to de-escalate the security situation and further resolve the armed conflict by political and diplomatic means,” the Ministry summed up.

Natalia Tolub

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