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 Lavrov: Russia to "reinforce" OSCE in Donbas with its military personnel

Russia is ready to double the number of the observers of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine and is also ready to "equip the mission with drones and armored vehicles, which must be operated by military people."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a Saturday analytical program hosted by Sergei Brilyov on Russia 1 TV channel, Censor.NET reports citing ТАSS.

"OSCE Mission expands its capacity. Almost all positions that were authorized in the first stage (500) are filled. We have convinced the OSCE Permanent Council to allow us double that number - up to 1000 people," Lavrov stated.

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"We are now actively encouraging our partners from the OSCE Secretariat to start recruiting experts," he added. "We are also ready to equip the mission with drones and armored vehicles from the standpoint of our resources," Lavrov said. However, the possible technical problem in this proposal is that these drones and armored vehicles must be operated by Russian operators, he said.

Read also: President Poroshenko: Ukraine supports extension of OSCE mission until UN votes for sending peacekeepers to Donbas

"These have to be military people. The Frenchmen and Germans have the same problems," he said. "But additional decisions can be made to set up a technical mission in support for the OSCE civilian one, in which military expertise will be applied to provide assistance to the civilian monitoring mission," he said. Lavrov added that Moscow insists on daily reports of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine.

 
 
 
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