Moscow urges OSCE to instruct mission to Ukraine to monitor weapons withdrawal by militia

Moscow has addressed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) leadership to send the necessary directives to the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine to reinforce it with additional resources to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the parties, particularly the militia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Moscow has addressed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) leadership to send the necessary directives to the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine to reinforce it with additional resources to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the parties, particularly the militia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We are urgently addressing both the OSCE chairperson and the secretary general of this organization to promptly give the necessary instructions to the chiefs of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine," Lavrov said at a meeting with French Senate President Gerard Larcher on Wednesday.

Moscow is concerned that OSCE monitors are not attesting the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the militia, he said.

"We are slightly worried that now, as the withdrawal of heavy hardware has been started, at least by the militia, the OSCE monitors are not accompanying this process by their actions. What they should do is both monitor and verify the withdrawal of weapons from the line agreed upon in Minsk on February 12," Lavrov said.

The foreign ministers agreed at a Tuesday meeting in Paris that there was no need to look for new forms of monitoring the situation in Ukraine alternative to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Lavrov said.

"We discussed the OSCE's role in Paris. We agreed that at the moment it's not necessary to look for some new ideas concerning the monitoring and verification of the settlement process," he said.

"We clearly agreed in Minsk that the OSCE should play this role, and, for this purpose, the OSCE mission should be extended and reinforced, including with personnel, equipment and financing," he said.

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