VIENNA, 13 June 2014 – OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier travelled to the Russian Federation on an official visit upon the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 11-12 June 2014.
On 11 June, he met with Minister Lavrov in Moscow to exchange views on the OSCE's engagement in Ukraine as well as on other issues on the OSCE agenda. He welcomed the ongoing work in Kyiv of the recently-established tripartite Contact Group that includes representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship.
Special attention was paid to the situation with the missing staff of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. “We call for the immediate and unconditional release of our monitors,” the Secretary General stressed.
A total of eight international civilian monitors – four from the Donetsk-based team and four from the Luhansk-based team – have been missing since 26 and 29 May, respectively.
On 12 June, the OSCE Secretary General was in Rostov-on-Don in the south of Russia where he met with representatives of the local administration and visited a collective centre for displaced persons from south-east Ukraine.
In his meetings, Zannier stressed the vital importance of inclusive political dialogue and the cessation of violence in south-eastern Ukraine. “Weapons should be removed from the streets and violence should be replaced with national dialogue,” he said. “The OSCE stands ready to contribute to the establishment of a disarmament programme in order to de-escalate the situation in the country.”