Minister Linkevičius: Only OSCE can monitor ceasefire in Ukraine

This week representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France met and approved the OSCE’s initiative that not only heavy weapons but also weapons below 100 mm calibre should be withdrawn from the ceasefire line in Donbas. However German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who paid a visit to Vilnius on Thursday, noted that OSCE observers can work in just around 50 percent of the conflict zone.

Linkevičius stated that OSCE personnel must have an opportunity to operate in all eastern Ukraine, otherwise Minsk agreements would be left unimplemented.

According to Linkevičius, if OSCE observers are not allowed access to the hotspots, especially external border with Russia, then it would be naďve to expect that Minsk agreements would be followed because information is available that arms and other support is being provided to separatists.

Steinmeier underlined that the European Union is not part of the conflict in Ukraine, but the EU is interested in regulating the conflict and the OSCE monitoring mission is needed for this. The German foreign minister said that the OSCE must be provided the possibility to work and must be supported financially.

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