The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine considers it unacceptable that some OSCE participating States are currently blocking the decision on extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine for the next 12 months. The existing mandate of the mission will expire on 31 March.
If a consensus on extension of the mandate is not reached, phasing out of the OSCE SMM activities will benefit only the Russian Federation. The illegal military activities of the Russian armed formations in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine will stay out of sight of the international community, and international documenting of the ceasefire violations by aggressor State will end, possibly leading to further uncontrolled escalation.
The Russian occupation administrations were impeding the SMM work, totally blocking access of its observers to the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, restricting monitoring capacities in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in particular in the areas, adjacent to the Ukrainian-Russian state border, and hindering documentation of the human rights violations.
Since the beginning of April already, the OSCE can lose its key tool of facilitating resolution of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. Non-extension of the SMM mandate will severely undermine the OSCE authority as a regional security organization, while implementation of the Minsk agreements security provisions and the Normandy Four arrangements will be critically complicated without the Mission’s monitoring.
The MFA of Ukraine is grateful to the Swedish Chairpersonship of the OSCE and partner States for their efforts aimed at reaching consensus on extension of the SMM mandate.
We call on all sides to reverse their destructive stance, join consensus, and ensure continued activities of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine.