Poroshenko: Russia agrees to OSCE armed police mission in the Donbas

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that Russia has agreed to deploy an armed OSCE mission in the Donbas.

"I’m very glad that Ukraine’s firm position is supported by our partners in The Normandy Group, both the U.S.A. and Russia has agreed to this format. I think we will do it right," Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels on Sunday evening.

The President emphasized that despite the Herculean efforts of the SMM OSCE, firing, especially in Avdiivka, Marinka and in some areas of the Luhansk region, still continues. "And we have anywhere from 30 to 70 firings in one area per day," he said.

He also emphasized that the absolute majority of violations are the responsibility of the occupying forces. "Our troops are just firing in response. But the SMM OSCE monitors cannot record it as they are not armed [and cannot protect themselves under fire]. They can only record the firings and it is not always possible to determine from which side it was fired," Poroshenko said.

That is why he believes that the new special armed police mission should be involved which will be able to ensure security and to protect them.

Poroshenko noted that the tasks of this mission will be ensuring security, the preparing and holding of elections, and also the transfer of power to newly elected Donbas representatives.

"I think the political settlement can start once security criteria are ensured. Otherwise, we cannot in any way allow the legitimization of the Russian occupation through pseudo-elections following the example of the Crimean pseudo-referendum or pseudo-elections on 2 November 2014. We will not let it happen," he said.

  Russia, Ukraine, Poroshenko, OSCE, Donbas