Germany increases OSCE staff

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Mission in Ukraine Germany increases OSCE staff

Germany intends to support the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, by seconding additional staff. Up to ten federal police officers are to be seconded to mission headquarters, the Cabinet has decided. The OSCE is monitoring primarily compliance with the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

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The German government has decided to second up to ten federal police officers to mission headquarters in Kyiv. Currently one officer is supporting the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Special Monitoring Mission in Kyiv.

Mandate and area of deployment of the mission

The security situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense. Every day about 1,000 ceasefire violations in the Donbas are recorded and reported by the Special Monitoring Mission. Their observations provide important information about the situation in Ukraine, especially in the east of the country.

The main duty of the special monitors is to obtain information and to report on the security situation within their area of deployment. They must retain neutrality and ensure transparency. Under the provisions of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, the mission has two main tasks: to monitor the ceasefire agreed and to verify the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

The crisis in Ukraine is the greatest challenge to European security since the end of the Cold War. Dialogue and cooperation on all sides are still indispensable if progress is to be made on achieving a political solution to the conflict. Against this background, the OSCE Permanent Council decided in March 2014 to deploy a Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

As well as the federal police officers, Germany has currently seconded 28 civilian monitors from the Federal Foreign Office to the Special Monitoring Mission. They are deployed through the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF).

Germany involved in three missions

In March this year the Council extended the Special Monitoring Mission for another 12 months until 31 March 2018. The ceiling on staff of the mission is 1,000 observers. As a neutral party, the OSCE plays a key part in mediating between the parties to the conflict in Ukraine. It is endeavouring to stabilise the situation and end the conflict in and over Ukraine.

German police officers are thus involved in three international missions in Ukraine. Currently officers are already working as part of the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) and the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).

The Minsk Protocol, Minsk I, lays out the results of the deliberations of the Trilateral Contact Group, which brings together Ukraine, the OSCE and Russia. Deliberations were based on the peace plan proposed by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the initiatives of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Protocol was signed on 5 September 2014 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. On 28 September, however, fighting once again flared up, leading to the second battle for Donetsk Airport. On 12 February 2015, on the initiative of Germany and France, another ceasefire agreement was reached: Minsk II.