US expert: OSCE in Ukraine hamstrung by Russian members of monitoring team

16:00, 15 May 2015
War
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The OSCE mission in Ukraine is ineffective due to the large number of Russian members of its monitoring team, Director of the Potomac Foundation and U.S. military expert Phillip Karber has said.

Screenshot from video of Karber presentation

Karber made the claim during his presentation of the report "Beyond Minsk II: Prospects for a new Russian offensive," according to the Voice of America.

"The OSCE was never intended to oversee military operations. I characterize them more as marriage counselors rather than divorce lawyers,” Karber said.

“The idea is that they will do their job, to insist on inspections and fast reports... They are just not able to do that because the team includes the Russians. When I was in Mariupol, the number of Russian observers was much higher than [the number of] representatives of other countries. They went near the positions of the Ukrainian military and input the coordinates of their location in their mobile phones. The OSCE is not an independent body."

Karber presented a map of the inspections agreed by the OSCE, which clearly indicates that the inspectors did not have access to the Russian-Ukrainian border, through which the main transfer of Russian military equipment and soldiers has been carried out to the Donbas.

In another border area, the OSCE representatives could stay only 25% of the time, while having to notify the other party in advance, the military expert stated. In other parts of the region, the OSCE can stay only 50% of the time, Karber said.

According to OSCE information, its monitoring mission in Ukraine includes 24 Russian citizens. The organization says all team members work solely on behalf of the organization, and not their home countries.

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