04:11 GMT30 September 2020
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    OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said that the organisation aims to increase the number of its monitors in Ukraine to 800 over the next couple of months.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) aims to increase the number of its monitors in Ukraine to 800 over the next couple of months, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier told Sputnik on Friday.

    “We plan to bring more observers,” Zannier said. “Over the next month or two, we are planning to go up to 800.”

    Zannier said earlier in May that 700 OSCE monitors were currently working in Ukraine, 530 of whom were in the country’s east.

    When asked whether OSCE is planning to extend working hours of its mission in Ukraine as more ceasefire violations occur during night time, Zannier said "no."

    "It’s too risky for our people to be out at night. I have to deal with security of the monitors," Zannier stated.

    "We plan to bring more observers, but not during the night, it’s too dangerous," he added.

    When asked whether the OSCE had any plans to arm the monitors at the line of contact in Ukraine’s Donbass region, Zannier stated, "No. for the time being we are not planning."

    "Our mission observers will remain unarmed," Zannier added.

    In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow supports Kiev's call to arm OSCE staff at the contact line in eastern Ukraine.

    "There is a debate about a possible different operation on police, and some are proposing to give arms. But it’s different, there is no decision. There are only ideas," Zannier noted.

    Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence-seeking militias in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The confrontation has claimed over 9,000 lives, according to the UN estimates.

    The OSCE has been tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Minsk deal provisions, which include a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact, an all-for-all prisoner exchange, constitutional reforms, including a decentralization of power in the country, and granting special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.





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