Updated 12:41 p.m. Moscow Times
ROSTOV-ON-DON, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have not noted any movement of military equipment along the Russian-Ukrainian border since the beginning of their mission, the group’s head said Friday.
“The movement of military equipment has not been seen by the OSCE from our border point [of observation],” Paul Picard said during a press conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
Picard said that since the end of July, observers had seen airplanes, helicopters and drones that flew along the border.
“We observed their movement, but didn’t see them fly into Ukraine, so they did not cross the border,” Picard said.
On October 22, OSCE deputy spokesperson Natacha Rajakovic said the OSCE Permanent Council had extended the monitoring mission’s mandate on the border for another month.
The European Union also supported the idea of expanding the mission to several Russian checkpoints, however, Moscow said Russia maintained control over all of its checkpoints and did not deem the mission’s expansion necessary.
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-April, the Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in Ukraine's eastern regions. Some 3,700 people have been killed and more than 9,000 have sustained injuries since the beginning of the armed conflict, according to the UN data. The warring sides agreed to a ceasefire on September 5, but since then have repeatedly blamed each other for violating the truce.