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    Normandy Quartet Stresses Importance of OSCE Mission Safety in Donbas

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    The leaders of the Normandy quartet underlined the importance of ensuring safety and proper mode of operation of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in east Ukraine's Donbas region.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany underlined the importance of ensuring safety and proper mode of operation of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of Organization of Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) in east Ukraine's Donbas region, Tuesday's statement on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's website said.

    "The sides underlined the importance of ensuring safety and proper mode of operation of OSCE, including unobstructed checks of places of artillery withdrawal," the statement said.

    On Monday, the SMM announced that it was not able to fully control heavy weaponry withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine as sides of the conflict do not provide monitors with the necessary information.

    The withdrawal of heavy artillery from the line of contact in war-torn Donbas was agreed upon by the warring sides earlier in February during peace talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

    Last week, the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR) officials said they completed the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line. The same day, Kiev military spokesman stated that the Ukrainian troops would complete the first stage of its heavy weaponry withdrawal in the coming days.

    The deputy foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will discuss the question of sending peacekeepers to Ukraine Friday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s spokesperson said.

    “The deputy foreign ministers of Ukraine, France, Germany, Russia will discuss questions of peacekeepers Friday,” Svyatoslav Tsegolko said on Twitter.

    On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Kiev government's proposal to deploy peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine is just an attempt to delay the implementation of the Minsk agreements. According to Lavrov, the issue of peacekeepers was not raised during the negotiations in Belarusian capital, during which the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany hammered out a deal on Ukrainian reconciliation.

    In February, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council's secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said Kiev planned to request that the United Nations and the European Union send peacekeepers to the conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the issue is up to the UN Security Council.

    Topic:
    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

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    Tags:
    France, peace talks, Ukrainian crisis, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Petro Poroshenko, Germany, Ukraine, Russia
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