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 OSCE set to expand observation area over entire Donbas territory, - Chairperson-in-Office Kurz

OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Austrian Foreign Affairs Minister Sebastian Kurz is convinced that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) will continue to perform its functions under the current mandate, will expand its control over the entire territory of the Donbas and will primarily control the observance of the cease-fire.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Interfax-Ukraine, he said it at a press briefing in Mariupol on Wednesday morning.

Read more: OSCE Chairman Kurz inspects Vynohradne village damaged by militants' strikes. PHOTOS

Kurz noted one needs to be realistic about the mission's powers. Answering a question of Ukrainian journalists about the possibility of OSCE police mission deployment in Ukraine, he stressed the OSCE has 57 member states and all the decisions are taken by consensus.

He said the OSCE will do everything for the mission to operate as efficiently as possible, monitor the entire territory of the Donbas and help achieve a complete cease-fire.

Kurz emphasized the need to continue the Minsk talks, saying the Minsk deal is the only document to serve as a basis here. Although not satisfied with the progress in the implementation of the agreements, he said the situation now is better than at the time of their signing.

Read more: "Putin has long sought to return Donbas on his own terms," - Tuka

Earlier, Kurtz arrived on a visit to Ukraine. Together with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin he went to Mariupol to review the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements and the situation in the region. The OSCE CiO visited Vynohradne village damaged by artillery strikes and handed over mine markers to the local council representatives.

Klimkin and Kurz also planned to discuss the deployment of an OSCE armed police mission in the Donbas during their visit to the Donetsk region on Jan. 3-4.
 
 
 
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