The leadership of the OSCE SMM in the Donbass does not exclude that it will cooperate with members of illegal armed groups who called themselves "representatives of the LNR and DNR" in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire, as follows from the response of the Mission's press service to OstroV’s request.
"The self-proclaimed DNR and LNR declare that after the withdrawal of the Russian officers from the JCCC, their functions were assumed by the "representations of the republics": they are allegedly willing to contact with the OSCE SMM. Is the mission ready for such cooperation with representatives of illegal armed groups and to the recognition of their status as real representations in the JCCC?", - OstroV asked.
The Mission responded that they were "aware of the withdrawal of the Russian Armed Forces officers from Ukraine under the Joint Control and Coordination Center".
"The mission assesses the possible consequences from the point of view of security on the site and its activities, and also looks for possible solutions to the current situation", - the SMM said.
"At the same time, the OSCE SMM continues to maintain contact with all the parties involved on both sides and contribute to the improvement of the humanitarian situation and the security situation", - the Mission emphasized.
As previously reported, after the withdrawal of Russian officers, the terrorist "LNR" announced the establishment of its "representation" in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire and expressed a desire to cooperate with the OSCE mission. The "DNR" made a similar statement.
First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Herashchenko expressed the opinion that Russia's withdrawal of its representatives could lead to an aggravation of the situation on the front line, as well as become a lever for imposing a direct dialogue with the militants of terrorist "republics". Declarations about the readiness of the "representatives" of the “republics” to continue the duties of the Russian officers in JCCC, fully confirm this version.
However, there could be no official delegations of terrorist "republics" in the Joint Center. Until yesterday, the JCCC consisted of 128 officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Russia. They worked in 16 control groups - 8 in the territory under Ukraine's control and 8 in the zone of occupation.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said that the Russian officers, who were part of the JCCC, departed from Ukraine on December 19.