"Understanding the complexity of the current situation in relations between Kiev and Moscow, I want, nevertheless, to ask you to respect the principles that have been guided by the OSCE for more than a decade, and thereby contribute to the democratic process and monitoring of elections that are of utmost importance for further development of your country," Lajcak told Klimkin during a meeting on Sunday in Brussels, cited by Gandel.
The two ministers met in Brussels before the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers Council, the spokesman added. They discussed the current situation in Ukraine and its neighborhood with an emphasis on the upcoming March presidential elections in Ukraine. According to Gandel, Lajchak urged Klimkin to review decision to ban Russia's representatives from observing elections in Ukraine.
The ministers also discussed specific measures to improve the living conditions of the civilian population on both sides of the contact line in Donbass, which is expected to be discussed during Lajcak's upcoming visit to Moscow on Tuesday, Gandel added.
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE plan to request to 56 OSCE member states, including Russia, to participate in a short-term monitoring mission at the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine with some 750 monitors in total needed for the task.
OSCE ODIHR Director Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir has expressed her regret over Kiev's decision, while Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has stressed that Moscow will defend its right to monitor the election.