OSCE to double observers in eastern Ukraine to 500
Iran Press TV
Sun Jan 4, 2015 1:34PM
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) aims to increase the number of its observers in Ukraine.
According to OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw on Sunday, the organization will double the number of its observers in violence-stricken eastern Ukraine from 250 to 500.
The situation has become calmer in eastern Ukraine, but the ceasefire is still being violated by both sides, Bociurkiw added.
'One of the cornerstones of the Minsk agreement, namely the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, has not been implemented to any appreciable degree,' he stated, referring to the ceasefire deal signed by the representatives of Kiev, Moscow, and self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on September 5.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was launched to inspect the clashes between the country's military and pro-Russia forces.
The European organization has also intensified its efforts to broker peace talks between Kiev, Moscow, and pro-Russia forces to end the bloody conflict.
The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev's military operation started in mid-April in a bid to crush the protests.
Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.
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