Updated 2:00 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – During last week’s ASEM summit in Milan, Russia made it clear that it was ready to provide drones for security monitoring in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“This issue was discussed in detail in Milan. We said we were ready to make our contribution to the [monitoring] mission, including by providing transport. We are ready to provide drones and teams that would service these drones,” he said.
On October 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the participants of the talks on Ukraine in Milan agreed on the use of drones for monitoring the situation in the east of the country, with the details expected to be finalized later in Vienna. Italy, France, Germany and Russia expressed their willingness to work together on the matter.
On the same day, Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter praised the international efforts to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, expressing gratitude for the offers made by the four countries and calling on all parties to integrate UAVs in the monitoring activities as soon as possible.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced he had authorized the deployment of drones by the OSCE mission for monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine on September 13. The first two drones arrived in the country on October 6.