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    A member of the OSCE mission (R) and reporters examine a crater in Telmanove, a village south of Donetsk

    OSCE Extends Observer Mission at Russian Checkpoints Near Ukraine Border

    © AFP 2018 / ALEKSEY FILIPPOV
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    The mandate of the OSCE Observer Mission at Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints will be extended until 30 September, 2015

    VIENNA (Sputnik) — The OSCE Permanent Council has decided to extend the mandate of the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk on the border with Ukraine by three months to September 30, 2015.

    The decision was adopted on Thursday by consensus of all 57 OSCE participating states, according to an OSCE statement released Friday.

    The mission "has been on the ground since July 29, 2014" and "is currently comprised of 20 civilian observers, who operate 24/7 in teams."

    After Kiev launched a military operation in Donbas in April 2014, Ukrainian authorities and the West repeatedly accused Russia of aiding independence supporters in Donetsk and Luhansk, specifically of sending troops and weaponry to the region. Russia has repeatedly denied these accusations.

    In July 2014, Moscow invited the OSCE to monitor its Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints to ensure the transparency of border traffic between Russia and eastern Ukraine.

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    Tags:
    Checkpoints, observers, OSCE, Donetsk, Ukraine, Russia
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