U.S concerned as OSCE Permanent Council drags with extending SMM mandate

10:20, 29 March 2019
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OSCE/ Alfred Kueppers

"The SMM continues to be a vital component to bringing a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict, and symbolizes the relevance and value of this organization as a whole," Harry Kamian said, addressing the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, March 28.

He added that the U.S. greatly appreciates concerted efforts to bring the matter to resolution. "We stand by to assist as needed, and will continue to engage constructively in this process of finalizing an immediate resolution," the statement reads.

Read alsoOSCE: Russian-led forces fire at two schools in Donbas

The current mandate of the SMM to Ukraine was extended for another year on March 22, 2018, and is set to expire March 31, 2019.

The U.S. Mission to the OSCE, via Twitter, recalled that Russia’s "manufactured conflict" in eastern Ukraine has created an artificial and heavily armed line of division through Ukraine’s eastern regions, and forced 1.6 million people from their homes in Donbas.

"As their aggression in eastern Ukraine enters its sixth year, Russia has created Europe’s largest humanitarian crisis in a generation & has demonstrated its callousness toward civilians living in and around the line of conflict," reads a separate tweet.

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