Did Putin really agree to an armed OSCE mission in Donbass?

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October 20, 2016 – Fort Russ News – 

RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

During negotiations in Berlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the proposal to deploy an armed OSCE mission in Donbass, the president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has stated.

In Berlin on Wedesnday, the first summit of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, Ukraine, France) in a year was held. Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Petro Poroshenko, and Francois Hollande, over the course of five hours, discussed the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

As Peskov emphasized, the question of deploying such a mission requires consideration and planning in the OSCE.

According to him, Germany’s chairmanship of the OSCE should be used to activate such work. 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated earlier that Russia had agreed to the deployment of an armed OSCE mission.

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At the same time, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics are opposing the OSCE military mission. The DPR’s permanent representative to the Minsk negotiations, Denis Pushilin, stated: “According to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s mandate in effect at the current moment on the territory of the conflict, the mission is civilian and unarmed.”

According to him, the introduction of such major changes to the mandate and work of the mission can only be carried out with the complete agreement of all 57 OSCE member countries.

Pushilin called Poroshenko’s statement on an armed OSCE mission in Donbass another attempt “to portray wishful thinking as reality.”

“Putin stated that he is ready to extend the OSCE mission in the zone of the removal and storage points of heavy equipment, but there is not talk of any police mission and, what’s more, an armed one, at the current moment,” DPR National Council deputy Vladislav Berdichevsky told RIA Novosti.

The prerequisites for deploying an armed mission in Donbass are not in place, Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, believes: “First of all, there is no legislation on elections; second of all, it is unclear what this mission will do; and thirdly, the most important is that Donetsk and Lugansk will not accept any armed representatives of an international organization.”

Lukashevich called the idea far from realistic and recalled that there already is a special monitoring mission which deals with specific tasks. 

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