KIEV, November 4 (RIA Novosti) —The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine currently consists of 358 international employees, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday as quoted by UNIAN.
Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry representative Yevhen Perebiynis said that 261 out of 358 OSCE employees in Ukraine are monitors and 124 of them are currently working in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
"According to OSCE SMM, the mission's members have witnessed more than 90 cases of weapons use in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since October 1. The Mission also received information on ceasefire breaches from other sides," Perebiynis said.
Yevhen Perebiynis noted that the mission lacks the 38 million euro [$47.5 million] needed to increase the number of monitors to 500. According to Perebiynis, the Mission's Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan has mentioned the need to increase the SMM's funding addressing the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on November 3. "He noted that a budget of 72.6 million euro [about $90.8 million] is needed in order to increase the number of the Mission's monitors to 500 and to send 350 of them to Ukraine's East. Taking into account the available funds and fees, the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission remains underfunded by 38 million euro [$47.5 million]," Perebiynis said. According to Perebiynus, Apakan called on OSCE member states to provide the Mission with the funds needed for the continuation of its work.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was deployed in March following a request to the OSCE by the Ukrainian government. The monitors are to contribute to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security in Ukraine and on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
In mid-October Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for expanding the OSCE monitoring mission on the Russian-Ukrainian border.