Ukraine welcomes extension of OSCE SMM's mandate

Ukraine welcomes extension of OSCE SMM's mandate

Ukrinform
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has welcomed the adoption by the OSCE Permanent Council of a consensus decision to extend the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine until March 31, 2022, which provides for observers' access to the entire territory of Ukraine, the ministry's press service has reported.

"Ukraine is grateful to the Swedish OSCE Chairmanship and the participating States for supporting the Ukrainian government's request to continue the mission's work for the next 12 months. [...] The extension of the mandate will ensure continuous monitoring of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine to objectively and timely inform the international community about Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine. [...] The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry emphasizes that the OSCE SMM's mandate provides for safe and secure access for observers to the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol," the report reads.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called unacceptable the actions of the Russian Federation aimed at restricting the monitoring activities of the OSCE SMM in the temporarily occupied territories in eastern Ukraine and blocking the mission's access to the temporarily occupied Crimea.

"The Russian side must immediately stop obstructing the mission in fulfilling its mandate. We expect the OSCE SMM to also strengthen the monitoring of other illegal actions of Russia: the ongoing militarization of Crimea, restrictions on freedom of navigation in the Azov-Black Sea region, violations of fundamental OSCE principles and commitments, including respect for sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of the state," the report reads.

The OSCE Permanent Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, March 31, extended the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine for another year - until March 31, 2022.

On March 26, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling unacceptable the fact that some OSCE participating States were blocking the decision to extend the OSCE SMM's mandate for the next 12 months.

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