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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine considers it unacceptable that certain OSCE Member States are currently blocking the decision to extend the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine for the next 12 months.

The mission's current mandate expires on March 31, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said in a statement released March 26.

If no consensus is reached on mandate extension, the OSCE SMM curtailing its operations will only play into Russia's hands, Ukrainian diplomats believe.

The international community will lose sight of the unlawful military activity by the Russian armed forces in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Ceasefire violations by the aggressor power will no longer be recorded by international actors, which may lead to further escalation that could spin out of control, MFA Ukraine wrote.

Read alsoAlmost 20 countries urge Russia to allow UN, OSCE, CoE envoys' access to occupied CrimeaRussian occupation administrations have been constantly obstructing the SMM's efforts, completely blocking its observers' access to the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, restricted their monitoring work in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, especially in areas adjacent to the Ukrainian-Russian border, and hindered efforts to record human rights violations.

From early April, the OSCE may lose its key tool of assistance in resolving the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Failure to extend the SMM's mandate would deal a serious blow to the OSCE's authority as a regional security organization, while the implementation of security provisions laid down in Minsk Agreements and the Normandy Four accords would become critically difficult without proper monitoring by the SMM.

Read alsoIn major escalation, four Ukrainian soldiers killed in enemy attack in DonbasThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is grateful to the Swedish Chairmanship of the OSCE and to the Partner States for their efforts to reach a consensus on the extension of the SMM's mandate.

We call on parties to renounce their destructive position, join the consensus, and enable the OSCE SMM's continued mandate in Ukraine.

OSCE SMM: Memo

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) was deployed on 21 March 2014, following a request to the OSCE by Ukraine’s government and a consensus decision by all 57 OSCE participating States. The SMM is an unarmed, civilian mission, present on the ground 24/7 in all regions of Ukraine. Its main tasks are to observe and report in an impartial and objective way on the situation in Ukraine; and to facilitate dialogue among all parties to the crisis.