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Number of OSCE Monitors in Ukraine to Remain Unchanged: Spokesman

© Photo : OSCE/Mikhail EvstafievSpokesperson of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship Roland Bless said the current mandate of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine limits the number of monitors at 500 and the number can be changed only through a consensus decision of the OSCE Permanent Council.
Spokesperson of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship Roland Bless said the current mandate of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine limits the number of monitors at 500 and the number can be changed only through a consensus decision of the OSCE Permanent Council. - Sputnik International
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The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe did not increase the number of its monitors in Ukraine, contrary to the Ukrainian president’s statement, an OSCE spokesman told RIA Novosti Monday.

Updated 2:14 p.m. Moscow Time

VIENNA, October 13 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE] has not confirmed a recent statement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko saying the organization has increased the number of its monitors in Ukraine, an OSCE spokesman told RIA Novosti Monday.

Poroshenko said Sunday he “submitted a request [to the OSCE] and got a positive response that the OSCE had increased the number of monitors to 1,500 people.”

Spokesperson of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship Roland Bless said the "current mandate limits the number of observers to 500. This can only be changed if the Permanent council decides so in a consensus decision".

In September, the head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, Ertugrul Apakan, also reassured that the size of the mission could only increase to a maximum of 500 monitors, as stipulated by the mission's mandate.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was deployed in March following a request to the OSCE by the Ukainian government and a consensus agreement by all 57 OSCE participating States. The monitors are to contribute to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security in Ukraine.

Any decision of the OSCE 's Permanent Council is made based on a consensus agreement by all the participating members following preliminary political consultations. The organization has not yet reported a possible discussion changing the current mandate of the SMM.

In April, Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in the eastern regions of the country. According to UN data, almost 3,700 people have been killed and more than 8,800 have been wounded since the start of the confrontation.

On September 5, through the intermediary of Russia and the OSCE a ceasefire was reached during a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk, with a memorandum specifying steps for the ceasefire implementation being adopted on September 19.

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