OSCE to close Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

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The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has announced that it would take immediate steps to close the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

This decision follows the lack of consensus at the OSCE Permanent Council on March 31 to extend the Mission’s mandate, the OSCE said on Friday.

“This is not an easy decision to take. We have explored all possible options through political dialogue with participating States to achieve the renewal of the Special Monitoring Mission’s mandate, but the position of the Russian Federation left us with no choice but to take steps to close down the Mission,” said Zbigniew Rau, the OSCE Chairman-in-office and Polish Foreign Minister.

The OSCE sent its special observer mission to eastern Ukraine in March 2014, following a request of the Ukrainian government, Xinhua news agency reported.

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