VIENNA, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s mission in Ukraine is under pressure from the Kiev government, Russia’s presidential envoy to the group said Thursday.
“Reports from the mission are being sterilized because of pressure from Ukrainian authorities,” Andrei Kelin said, adding that the OSCE is withholding information on Kiev’s punitive operation in the country’s east.
“The reports … do not tell about artillery, about aircraft flying there, everything has been cleared out as the dominating viewpoint is that there are terrorists, pro-Russian forces and even Russian sabotage groups there,” Kelin said.
The Russian envoy said the mission is also being pressured by the United States and the European Council who are backing the Kiev regime.
“We diligently explain to the mission’s leadership that if this operation is not stopped, the chances for continuing the dialogue are not very high,” he said, adding that Russia continues backing the mission as it is the only credible independent group in Ukraine.
The mission, which was invited by Ukraine, has found itself in a “tough situation” where it dare not cross the opinion of Kiev’s authorities, he said.
Russia’s participation in the mission, which currently numbers around 200 people, could be increased in the near future, Kelin said. A total of 12 Russian nationals are now part of the group.
OSCE Chief Monitor in Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan said the mission could be expanded to 300 members in a month and further up to 500 members.
The citizens of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s interim government and called for federalization and referendums on greater autonomy, with rallies sweeping through the region. In response, the Kiev regime launched a special operation against federalists.
Moscow has repeatedly called on Kiev to realize that in conducting a special operation to crack down on federalization supporters protesting the February coup, Ukraine’s security forces are fighting not against “terrorists” but their own people.