: OSCE considers armed police mission to Donbas amid violence escalation
Opinion14:58 Jun. 3, 2016

OSCE considers armed police mission to Donbas amid violence escalation

Deputy chief of OSCE SMM to Ukraine joins UT to talk about security situation in country's east

The violence in eastern Ukraine is rising every day. OSCE monitors, stationed in the conflict areas, register dozens of explosions and shooting incidents on some days, hundreds on the other. On May 24 Kyiv reported seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the conflict zone. Another five died several days later. The warring sides are getting closer and closer to each other, in a blow to the Minsk agreements, and it seems the trigger-happy parties do not get disciplined enough. As a result, more hotspots are appearing in Donbas, in addition to heavy fighting near Avdiivka and Yasynuvata.

"We expect when we report violations that the sides will follow up on our reports, and the absence of these followups will trigger more violence. A new flashpoint is emerging in the area of Dokuchaevsk (Donetsk region), where four civilians tragically died a few weeks ago," Deputy Chief of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine Alexander Hug says in an interview with Ukraine Today.

Read also OSCE Chief Monitor to Ukraine condemns violence against watchdog in east

Many locals blame the observers for not punishing the guilty, but they fail to understand that OSCE is a civil mission, without any authority to assign blame and prosecute the responsible. However, the Normandy Four and OSCE are in discussions over changing the mandate of the current mission. Earlier Ukraine proposed to send armed police to the conflict zone. And it seems this idea is seriously considered by the organisation. But in order for it to happen all 57 OSCE members must reach a consensus.

"There are different proposals, made by the stakeholders, but it is the permanent council of the OSCE participating states in Vienna, that needs to lead this debate and will lead this debate," Hug explains the situation.

So what needs to happen for the OSCE to send its armed police mission to Ukraine. Watch the full version of the interview on Ukraine Today.

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