OSCE to send monitors to Ukraine, Russia hopes it stops extremists' attacks

Russia joined the 56 other members of the OSCE on Friday in a consensus decision to send a six-month monitoring mission initially numbering 100 people to Ukraine.

Just as Russia has insisted, the mandate of the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine features certain regions the monitors will be able to visit, including the following 10 cities – Kiev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk, Kherson, Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, Odessa and Chernovtsy.

The mission headquarters will be set up in Kiev. Any change in the mission deployment should be approved by the OSCE standing council. The mandate does not feature Crimea, which has joined the Russian Federation.

The mission is scheduled to comprise 100 civilian experts, but can boost its overall strength to 400, if necessary. According to the OSCE, the first monitors are due to arrive in Ukraine within the next 24 hours.

The mandate term is six months. The mission head is due to be appointed by the OSCE current Chairperson, who is the President of the Swiss Confederation and Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter.

Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE, Andrei Kelin, has told reporters that the mandate proceeds from the existing geopolitical reality, specifically that Crimea is part of Russia.

According to him, the mission should help settle the ongoing internal Ukrainian conflict. Russia also hopes that the monitors will help protect Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population from attacks by extremists and neo-Nazis.

OSCE draft decision on Ukraine mission almost agreed - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has informed the permanent members of Russia's Security Council and President Vladimir Putin that the Foreign Ministry has almost agreed upon a draft decision of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to send its mission to Ukraine, including its western and central regions.

Putin, who met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Moscow on Thursday, said that at their meeting Ban raised the issue of sending an OSCE mission and UN observers to Ukraine's eastern and southeastern areas.

"I would like to ask you to continue this work with our partners and find a solution," Putin said.

"We have almost agreed upon this draft decision of the OSCE Permanent Council and made sure that both the south and southeast of Ukraine, as well as its western and central regions, where very unpleasant incidents have occurred in the past few months, be included in the list of Ukraine's regions that the OSCE monitoring mission will visit," Lavrov said.

"Second, in this decision we also agreed a ceiling on the number of observers and regions where they will go," the foreign minister said. "Any change of these agreements to increase the number of both monitors and regions will require an additional decision of the OSCE Permanent Council. Our next steps will depend on your further instructions," he said.

Oppression of population by radicals in Ukraine must be stopped - UN chief

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes that all the parties in Ukraine, including the authorities in Kiev, will prevent oppression of the population coming from radical elements. He said this today to journalists in Kiev.

"Oppressions on the part of radical elements must be resolutely stopped. I hope that all the parties in Ukraine will take appropriate measures," he said at a press conference with acting President of Ukraine, Chairman of the VerkhovnaRada, OleksandrTurchynov.

Ban Ki-moon also urged all sides to "refrain from any provocative action that may lead to further worsening of the situation."


Ban Ki-moon shares Moscow’s concern over rights of Russian-speakers in Ukraine

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he shares Moscow’s concern over the situation with the rights of Russian-speakers in Ukraine. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called his meeting with Putin constructive; the parties exchanged opinions on possible ways out of the crisis situation in Ukraine.

Addressing reporters after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ban said that he had told him that he shared his legitimate concerns over violations of the rights of the Russian minorities in Ukraine and emphasized the need to observe and protect those rights.

Russia deeply concerned by discrimination of Russian speakers in Ukraine - Lavrov to UN chief

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday that Moscow was deeply concerned over "numerous violations of the rights of Russian-speakers in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine," his ministry said.

"The minister has expressed the Russian Federation's deep concern over multiple violations of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in eastern and southeastern Ukrainian regions, the escalation of tensions by radical groups with the condoning of the Kiev authorities," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website after the Moscow meeting between Lavrov and Ban.

"He stressed the need for UN assistance to Ukraine for the purpose of normalizing the situation in this country in the interests of long-term stability," the statement said.

The parties discussed the situation in Ukraine where the acute domestic crisis continues as a result of the unconstitutional change of regime.

Source: The Voice of Russia