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Russia accuses European security watchdog of “spying” for Ukraine

Russia accuses European security agency of

A vehicle of the Special Monitoring Mission from the OSCE to Ukraine destroyed in Mariupol. Photo: Getty

During the meeting, Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky criticized Western powers, saying they were showing “hypocrisy” over the security crisis in Ukraine. The US and its allies are more concerned with their own interests than the interests of the Ukrainian people, the diplomat stressed.

“We have obtained the latest evidence that the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine is simply to ‘tolerate’ Kiev instead of documenting ceasefire violations,” he said. .

The official said Russia is gathering more evidence to bring the case against the supervisors.

Mr. Polyansky also made more accusations after the seizure of official OSCE vehicles of the Ukrainian army in the city of Mariupol. He said there were reports that eight cars, some of which were armored, had been destroyed by Ukraine. One of them had obvious markings that had been used in battle. There are also similar reports coming from elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, he added.

“The OSCE leadership was aware of the problem, but they chose to hide this fact as long as possible,” the Russian official said.

He added that such incidents “undermine trust in international organizations where Western officials play a dominant role”. The official said Moscow would now question any calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine from the West.

He said Russia would distinguish between a “fake peace organization” and a real effort “to help Ukraine make the right decisions that are needed in the long run”.

The OSCE was invited to Ukraine to monitor the situation in the country in March 2014, shortly after the armed conflict in Kiev sparked tensions in the east of the country. The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) has become an important tool in observing the ceasefire agreement between government forces and insurgents, seen as the first part of the road to peace. Minsk agreement).

OSCE monitors patrolled the withdrawal route to check that the warring parties’ forces were in compliance with the agreement and to report any violations of the ceasefire.

This was the largest fieldwork mission in the organization’s history, with 814 international and 477 national staff participating, more than 2,400 daily reports made over eight years.

The mandate expired on March 31, and Russia opposes the extension. Moscow accuses the OSCE of pushing Russian representatives out of the SMM even as the number of observers is growing.

Russia’s representative to the organization, Aleksandr Lukashevich, accused the OSCE of siding with Kiev in considering the two self-proclaimed republics in the Donbass “territory under terrorist control”, and refused to coordinate with them. .

Last week, Donetsk and Lugansk made a decision to ban OSCE surveillance on their territory, starting April 30. Both are investigating allegations of espionage by mission members. Meanwhile, Russia is also conducting its own criminal investigation into espionage allegations.

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