Tuesday, April 12, 2022

OSCE Mission must cease its operation in DPR until April 30 — Foreign Ministry - TASS

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) must completely cease its operation in Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) until April 30, DPR Foreign Minister Natalya Nikonorova said Tuesday, commenting on the April 9 DPR State Defense Committee decree, which declared further operation of the OSCE SMM in DPR illegal.

"The mission’s operation must not continue in the republic, because the political reality has changed - the Minsk Agreements are no longer relevant - and the legal reality has changed as well, after Russia officially recognized DPR. Currently, this decree has already been presented to the OSCE SMM local staff. Therefore, they must complete all actions necessary to cease their operation in the republic until April 30," Nikonorova said, according to the DPR Foreign Ministry Telegram channel.

Previously, the Foreign Minister announced that the foreign staff of the mission has left the republic, but labor contracts with local residents were prolonged for one year - until March 31, 2023. However, no consensus was achieved during the OSCE Permanent Council meeting regarding the mission’s further fate in the region; therefore the status and legal grounds for further operation of the mission in DPR are unknown. Nikonorova stated that the republic remains open for dialogue, the OSCE is aware of that but they do not engage in official contacts.
  • About the OSCE mission

The OSCE mission commenced it work in Ukraine on March 21, 2014. The decision on its establishment was supported by all 57 OSCE member states. The mission involved about 1,000 observers. Its offices were deployed in Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. In early March, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmidt announced evacuation of almost 500 SMM observers after Russia commenced its special military operation.

On March 1, DPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Coordination and Control Center announced that all OSCE mission staff left from DPR to Russia. The observers arrived in Sochi through Rostov-on-Don, and then headed to Istanbul.

Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich underscored that, after two new subjects of international relations - sovereign republics of DPR and LPR - emerged, he sees no point in any monitoring missions in Donbass. According to the envoy, the SMM has been playing along with official Kiev lately, while the monitoring increasingly turned into a mechanism of disorientation of international community regarding the events happening directly on the ground. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that fulfillment of the mission’s previous tasks in Ukraine has become impossible.

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