The mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has been extended by another year - until March 31, 2022. The relevant consensus decision was made at a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on March 31, - Ukrinform reports.
The delegations of the 57 participating States also approved the budget of the Special Monitoring Mission for the new one-year period - from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Thus, the activity of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine was continued almost at the last moment as the current mandate of the Mission expires on March 31, 2021.
As reported, on March 26, the MFA of Ukraine made a statement calling unacceptable the fact that some OSCE participating states block the decision to extend the OSCE SMM mandate to Ukraine for the next 12 months. As noted in the department, a possible curtailment of the OSCE SMM would play into the hands only of the Russian Federation in case of failure to reach consensus on the renewal of the mandate: illegal military activities of Russian armed forces in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine will remain out of sight of the international community and the international documentation of ceasefire violations by the aggressor state will cease, which may lead to further uncontrolled escalation.
In addition, the failure to extend the SMM's mandate could seriously damage the OSCE's credibility as a regional security organization and the implementation of the security provisions of the Minsk agreements and the Normandy format agreements would be critically hampered without the Mission's monitoring.