OSCE Chief Monitor in Ukraine welcomes extension of Special Monitoring Mission’s mandate
KYIV, 18 February 2016 – The Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, Ertugrul Apakan, expressed his gratitude to all 57 OSCE participating States for their support for the Mission, following a consensus decision today to extend the SMM’s mandate to 31 March 2017.
“The SMM will continue implementing its mandate and contributing to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security in Ukraine,” said Ambassador Apakan. “The Mission will grow not only in numbers, but also in technology and presence. The number of monitors will be increased to 800 throughout Ukraine by the end of March, and more bases in eastern regions of the country will be opened.”
The Chief Monitor reiterated that the SMM will continue to play its important role on the ground and called upon the sides to ensure the security of its unarmed civilian monitors as well as their unhindered access to the entire area of conflict. He also stated that the sides should redouble their efforts towards peace and stability so that the Mission can do its work in supporting them.