Russia suggests sending an armed UN mission to defend OSCE observers in East Ukraine

According to a Russian draft Security Council resolution, Russia suggests sending an armed UN mission to defend OSCE observers in East Ukraine for an initial term of six months.

In line with the document, the proposed UN mission to assist the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) will be established for a period of six months, following the complete disengagement of forces and equipment from the de facto line of contact, a United Nations Support Mission to Protect OSCE SMM in Southeast Ukraine, the head of which shall report directly to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The draft says that the mission will be equipped with small arms and light weapons mandated exclusively to ensure the security of the OSCE SMM observer groups exercising 24-hour monitoring in zones where forces and equipment have been disengaged from the de facto line of contact.

Secretary General’s recommendations

If the document is approved, the UN Secretary General will be requested to start preparatory work without delay and to present as soon as possible to the Security Council for its consideration and approval detailed recommendations with regard to the size and national composition of the mission, along with its powers. Those recommendations should be agreed with the Government of Ukraine and representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

The resolution expresses full respect to sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukrane and stresses that the conflict in the east of the country can be settled only through implementation of the February 12, 2015 Package of Measures. In this respect, Russia suggested that the UN Security Council members called for full and consistent fulfillment of the Minsk Agreement and other reconciliation accords.

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