3 September 202112:23

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the termination of OSCE Observer Mission’s activities at the Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints on the Russia-Ukraine border

1724-03-09-2021

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During a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe on September 2, the Russian Federation announced its decision not to renew the mandate of the OSCE Observer Mission at the international automobile checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk on the Russia-Ukraine border after its expiration on September 30, 2021.

This field presence of the OSCE was established in July 2014 following the Berlin meeting of the Normandy format foreign ministers.

The set-up of the Observer Mission was a goodwill gesture of Russia in order to convince Kiev to reach a peaceful settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine. It was expected that this confidence measure would facilitate the prompt settlement of the domestic Ukrainian conflict.

However, the Ukrainian authorities and their Western patrons did not treat this move of the Russian Federation with respect. Given that the Mission has not recorded any movement of troops, weapons, ammunition or military equipment from Russia to Donbass over the past seven years, these countries tried to use the OSCE presence on the Russian territory to confirm certain “obligations” of Russia as part of the Minsk agreements, which were signed after the observers had arrived. Most importantly, they tried to deflect the attention of the global community from the Ukrainian authorities’ stubborn reluctance to observe the Minsk Package of Measures. The Russian Federation has repeatedly noted the need to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, there has been no response to this goodwill gesture.

It has become obvious that the activity of the OSCE Observer Mission on the Russia-Ukraine border does not have any positive impact on the settlement process, and its prolongation is counterproductive.

Russia is grateful to the Mission’s employees and leaders, who have been handling their duties professionally, and is ready to render them every assistance with completing their work on the Russian territory and returning home.

Council of Europe (CoE)

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

European Union (EU)

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