Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Special Representative to Contact Group on Ukraine Azamat Kulmukhametov’s answer to a media question
Question: Irina Gerashchenko, First Deputy Chairperson of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada and one of the Ukrainian representatives in the Contact Group, said in an interview with TSN. Tizhden that the number of Russians, Belarusians and Serbs in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission had significantly increased during the last year. This is why the mission does not allegedly notice shootings from Donetsk and Lugansk. Can you comment on this?
Azamat Kulmukhametov: These allegations have nothing in common with reality. The number of Russian observers in the SMM has decreased from 39 to 35. The number of Belarusians and Serbs is almost the same. A year ago there were seven Belarusians, now there are eight. The number of Serbs has decreased from nine to eight observers.
However, American and European citizens prevail in SMM leadership, and Ukraine considers them friends. There are 59 Americans, 45 Brits and 339 EU citizens working in the mission. There are 373 Ukrainians working as support staff. The SMM has 1087 employees in total, including 610 international observers.
All the statistics are published on the internet.
With such a staffing imbalance, if there is anything the SMM “doesn’t notice,” it is probably Ukraine’s infringements of the Minsk Agreements, definitely not militia “shootings.”
We see Ms Gerashchenko’s statement as more Kiev propaganda, aimed to impede a peaceful settlement in Donbass.