MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is considering a new role for the organization in Ukraine – a civilian peacekeeping operation, Russia's OSCE permanent representative Andrei Kelin said during a video linkup hosted by RIA Novosti on Friday.
"There are 229 observers working in Ukraine, 80 of them in Donetsk region. This number is not big, it is planned to increase it to 350 across five sectors. There has been talk of a civilian peacekeeping operation," Kelin said.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was deployed at the request of the Ukrainian government and a consensus agreement by the OSCE's 57 states. The monitors are working on reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security, the OSCE website states.
The Kiev government and southeastern Ukraine's independence forces agreed on a ceasefire at the September 5 meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk. Another meeting of the group comprising delegations from Russia, Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics and the OSCE, held on September 19, resulted in the adoption of a nine-point memorandum, specifying the provisions of the ceasefire.
Since the ceasefire was established, the conflicting sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the regime, although the OSCE said earlier this month that the truce was generally holding.