An assessment group from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has arrived on the Russian-Ukrainian border and will visit the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints, the OSCE’s press service said Wednesday.
"An OSCE expert mission with three individuals has arrived today in Rostov Region at the invitation of the Russian Federation. They have not yet arrived at their destination," a source told RIA Novosti.
The assessment group is to meet with regional authorities and remain in the area until July 19.
The Russian Foreign Ministry Monday announced it had invited OSCE monitors to Russia’s Gukovo and Donetsk border crossings as a goodwill gesture, without waiting for a ceasefire to be established in Ukraine, although the initiative met with objections from several delegations, including the United Kingdom.
Moscow's invitation comes after one of the most recent attacks on Russian border checkpoints on July 13, when one civilian was killed and two others injured as a shell hit a house in Donetsk, a town in Russia’s Rostov Region. The Russian Foreign Ministry protested the shelling by Ukraine, calling it a provocation that might have irreversible consequences.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter delivered a statement Monday, in which he asked all participating nations to contribute constructively and pragmatically to forming an early consensus on the respective mandate. In this regard, Burkhalter urged for the earliest possible deployment of OSCE mission.