Another 40 members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMMU) will arrive in Ukraine next week, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
"The OSCE monitoring mission increased its presence to 92 monitors in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions on October 6. We expect about 40 monitoring mission members next week," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis said at a news conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.
Two unmanned aerial vehicles have been delivered to Ukraine, which the OSCE monitoring mission will use to monitor the situation in eastern Ukraine, and two more drones should arrive within the next few weeks, Perebyinis said.
The establishment of proper control over the Ukrainian-Russian border is a matter of principle for Ukraine, Perebyinis said. "In this connection, we emphasize the importance of the OSCE mission's activities, which is working at the Russian border checkpoints of Gukovo and Donetsk, and the expansion of these activities along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions," he said.
The OSCE SMMU had been sent to Ukraine for six months on March 21 to promote de-escalation, peace, stability, and security in Ukraine. It was decided at the end of July to extend the mission's work in Ukraine for six more months. The OSCE said also that it intended to bring the number of its monitors in Ukraine to 500, which could be enough to monitor the observance of a ceasefire in the eastern part of the country.
The OSCE SMMU had said on Tuesday that 40 new mission members were to arrive in Ukraine on Sunday and that the overall number of members should reach 300 by the end of next week.
OSCE SMMU deputy head Alexander Hug said at a press conference in Odesa on Wednesday that the SMMU is working to increase the number of unmanned aerial vehicles to help mission experts monitor the situation in eastern Ukraine. The two drones already delivered to Ukraine will start operating in the near future, he said.
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