VIENNA, 8 April 2014 – OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today expressed concern about the violence in eastern Ukraine over the past days, and has called on all sides to opt for peaceful dialogue.
“The information we are receiving from OSCE monitoring teams currently working on the ground in eastern Ukraine is worrying. Our monitors have reported that weekend rallies in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv turned violent and resulted in injuries and clashes between protesters and police, as well as between representatives of different political parties and groups. This points towards pockets of instability,” Zannier said.
“It is absolutely essential that all possible appropriate measures are taken to avoid further violence and de-escalate tensions.”
He stressed his confidence that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine can help reduce tensions by close observation and by registering both facts and the opinions of the people involved.
Three teams of OSCE monitors have worked in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv since the end of March. Their deployment follows the decision of the OSCE Permanent Council of 21 March to deploy the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine for an initial period of six months. The mission consists initially of 100 civilian monitors, and can be expanded to 500 people. The Mission’s mandate covers the whole territory of Ukraine, but monitors are initially being deployed to Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi, Luhansk and Kyiv; any change in deployment shall be subject to a decision by all 57 OSCE participating States.
As of today, the total number of staff of the Special Monitoring Mission is 103 people; 39 participating States are represented.