U.S. calls on Russia not to oppose extension of OSCE mission mandate on Ukraine’s border

U.S. calls on Russia not to oppose extension of OSCE mission mandate on Ukraine’s border

Ukrinform
The United States calls on Russia not to oppose the standard four-month extension of the mandate of the Observer Mission at Russia’s Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints.

Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Courtney Austrian said this at an online meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, May 27, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

According to the American diplomat, as the international community sought to reduce tensions surrounding Russia’s most recent provocation, Moscow took additional steps to undermine the peaceful resolution of the conflict it continues to foment and fuel in eastern Ukraine.

“Right now, Russia is pursuing another step which, if implemented, will have a negative impact on the ground: Moscow inexplicably opposes the standard four-month extension of the mandate of the Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints at Gukovo and Donetsk. Instead it wants to limit the extension to two months," she said.

The Observer Mission is a valuable confidence building tool providing participating States with additional insight into the situation on the ground in eastern Ukraine. “A two-month extension would burden the Border Observer Mission with additional administrative complications, further reducing the OSCE’s ability to monitor the border, as stipulated in the Minsk Protocol," she noted.

Austrian added that Russia's actions regarding the Observer Mission clearly call into question statements by Russia implying a real interest in ending the violence in Ukraine and facilitating a political settlement.

"We urge Russia to reconsider its proposal to cut the mandate of the Observer Mission in half. We see no gain for security and mutual confidence in such a course; we need cooperation and transparency, not unilateralism and veiled threats," she said.

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