"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine welcomes the decision of the OSCE Permanent Council to extend the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) for the next 12 months until March 31, 2021. We particularly appreciate the fact that, even in the current difficult conditions, the OSCE participating states endorsed a substantial increase in the SMM budget in order to enhance the monitoring capabilities of the mission," reads the commentary of the Ministry posted on its website.
It is noted that thanks to this decision, the OSCE SMM will be able to continue to inform the international community about the facts confirming the military presence of the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry stresses the need to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached during the Normandy format summit in Paris last year, in particular, to strengthen the capacity of the SMM to use its mandate of March 21, 2014 and to have safe and secure access to the entire territory of Ukraine in order to fully implement its the mandate.
"We recall that the SMM mandate covers the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. We condemn the fact that for six consecutive years, the Russian Federation, grossly violating the SMM mandate, has been banning the mission from entering the Crimean peninsula which is temporarily occupied by Russia. We demand to implement the numerous resolutions of international organizations on ensuring access of the OSCE SMM to Crimea and to stop the intimidation of mission observers in the temporarily occupied parts of Donbas," Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry underscores.
The Foreign Ministry expects that the OSCE SMM will continue its work to promote the peaceful settlement of the international armed conflict initiated by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, based on OSCE principles and international law, with a view to restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. At the same time, Ukraine calls for increased attention to the situation with the militarization of Crimea and the continuing restrictions on freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait imposed by the Russian side, which have a negative social and economic impact on the respective regions of Ukraine.
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