Tag Archives: OSCE

OSCE records ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk

In Donetsk region, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMMrecorded more ceasefire violations, however, fewer explosions (about 110), compared with the previous reporting period (about 150 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at southerly directions of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol), in areas south of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and in areas south-east of Donetsk city centre. (Image above: illustration).

In Luhansk region, the Mission recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (about 670), compared with the previous reporting period (30 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations, including about 600 explosions, were recorded at southerly and easterly directions of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk).”

The Ukrainian army has shelled the positions of the militia in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) six times over the past 24 hours, the LPR defense ministry reported.

The shelling targeted the areas of Pervomaisk, the urban-type settlement of Frunze, the villages of Zhelobok and Smeloye,” the LuganskInformCenter news agency quoted a spokesman for the LPR people’s militia as saying.

According to the spokesman, the fire was conducted from mortars.

The Contact Group’s security subgroup agreed to declare a new ‘spring’ ceasefire in Donbass on March 7. It entered into force from the midnight of March 8 according to Kiev time. However, the Ukrainian military broke the truce just five minutes after it had taken effect.

Nagorno Karabakh signal for progress

Exchanges in recent months between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, as well as meetings of the Foreign Ministers under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, most recently in Paris on 16 January 2019, send a positive signal for progress in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict” said the statement by the European External Action (EEAS) service spokesperson on recent developments toward the peaceful settlement of the frozen conflict.

“The European Union is looking forward to the full implementation of their outcomes, including the recent Foreign Ministers’ agreement on the need to take concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace, as well as the consideration of steps aimed at reinvigorating the negotiations.

“The European Union continues to fully support the mediation efforts and proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, including through the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, as well as through civil society confidence-building measures across the conflict divide. All would stand to benefit from lasting peace, which would help to enable the South Caucasus region to fulfill its potential.”

Political analyst Stepan Danielyan reminded before the meeting in Paris, that the election thesis of the incumbent Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the issue of Nagorno Karabach was Yerevan refusal to conduct negotiations on behalf of Stepanakert. Many voters made their choice based on this thesis, Danielyan underlined.

Now the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan continue negotiations – they are discussing the Karabakh problem. What is discussed is not clear” the expert said. “In the past, Charles de Gaulle deceived the French, promising that France would not leave Algeria, before the elections, but after winning he did the opposite”, but Nagorno Karabakh is not Algeria, and Pashinyan is not de Gaulle, the expert warned.

According to the Armenian prosecutors the military casualties in Nagorno Karabakh in 2018 amounted to 38 servicemen, non-combat losses to 25 people.

Cyril accuses Kiev politics of invading in God realm

Patriarch Cyril  (Kirill) of Moscow and All Russia launched an appeal to heads of the the United Nations and OSCE secretary generals and the leaders of France and Germany, drawing their attention to violations of the rights of bishops, priests and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations said in a statement.

The authorities of the secular state of Ukraine, who have been interfering in the affairs of the Church for quite a while, have recently moved to exert brutal pressure on bishops and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which makes it possible to say that a large-scale persecution has begun,” Cyriil claims, according to TASS news agency.

Ukrainian priests will meet on December 14 to work towards an independent from Moscow church, following an Orthodox “schism”, in what Kiev authorities hope will mark a further step out of Russia’s influence.

The meeting will seek to realise a landmark decision by Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to recognise Kiev’s independence from the Moscow Orthodox Church.

October ruling sparked protests in Moscow claiming its rights on the part of Ukrainian Orthodox Church as an integral part of the Moscow Patriarch establishment, also claiming all the  historic buildings and properties.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is expected to attend the council, has made an independent Church a campaign pledge for his election campaign for the next mandate.

Mogherini and Lavrov discussed INF Treaty

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, today in the margins of OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan.

Against the backdrop of recent confrontation in the Azov Sea Mogherini conveyed her concerns in the discussion with Lavrov in line with the declaration issued on behalf of the EU.

The diplomats also exchanged views on the importance of Russia’s continued participation in the Council of Europe.

They discussed the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INT), and Mogherini stressed that the Treaty is key to European and global security and that it is in the interests of all that the Treaty is preserved and fully implemented.

 

EU against militarisation of Azov sea

During second October Plenary in Strasbourg following the debate with the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini  a group of  MEPs proposed a Motion for the European parliament resolution against militarisation of the Azov sea. The document  “condemns the Russian Federation for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty by means of the illegal construction of the Kerch bridge, the increased militarisation of the Crimean peninsula and the Sea of Azov and the illegal and abusive blockades and unlawful inspections carried out on commercial ships sailing through the Kerch Strait or in the Sea of Azov, including both Ukrainian vessels and those with flags of third-party states, as well as so far more than 120 ships under flags of various EU Member States, and delaying shipping in the Sea of Azov.”

MEPs also call Mogherini to take the necessary steps to propose to activate the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) mandate, which covers the entire territory of Ukraine, including maritime territory, in order to monitor the situation in the Sea of Azov.

EU calls for transparent investigation of Babchenko assassination

“The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was killed at his home in Kyiv on 29 May”- the External Action Service reacted in a statement of a spokesperson.

“Mr Babchenko was a respected war correspondent, who left his native Russia in 2017 following threats to his life in relation to his journalistic work there. Each time that a voice of freedom is violently silenced, it risks weakening our societies and undermining our democracies. The best way to honour Mr Babchenko‘s memory and his work, and to firmly counter any attempt to endanger our shared fundamental rights is through a swift and transparent investigation that brings those responsible for this crime to justice.”

“The European Union stands in solidarity with journalists and will continue to work to protect them and their work, which is vital to all democracies, within and beyond our borders.”

The assassination evoked a wave of condamnation from behalf of the leading European international institutions as Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland requested full and rapid investigation, pointing at danger the attack on free speech represents to democracy.

The assassination of a dissident Russian journalist, who lived and worked in Ukraine since 2017, took place next to his apartment, where he was shot three times in his back. There Ukrainian police said the hideous act may have been tied to his reporting.

Babchenko, 41, died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, a government official said.

Russian authorities vehemently reject accusations made ahead of the investigation.

AMENDMENT (!) 30/05/3028 17:45

“The reported killing of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko on Tuesday in Kiev was actually a ruse played by the Ukrainian law enforcement to prevent a planned hit, the Ukrainian authorities said.

Reporting on the high profile case on Wednesday, the head of the SBU, Ukraine’s national security service, Sergey Gritsak said Babchenko was alive and unhurt”.

Russian police brutality “not justified”

“The detention of over a thousand demonstrators and violence used against them by the Russian authorities across the country today threaten the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly in the Russian Federation” – says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The detention of journalists also threatens the freedom of the media. These fundamental rights are enshrined in the Russian constitution and we expect them to be protected, not eroded. Even if some of the demonstrations were not authorised in the location where they took place, this cannot justify police brutality and mass arrests” –  the statement continues.

“The European Union expects the Russian authorities to abide fully by the international commitments Russia has made, including in the Council of Europe and the OSCE, to uphold these rights, and release without delay peaceful demonstrators and journalists.”

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