PRESS RELEASE | February 5, 2015
In today’s Permanent Council meeting, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Ambassador Daniel Baer welcomed the efforts led by Turkish Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Ambassador Apakan gave a sobering assessment of the situation on the ground in eastern Ukraine.
“The OSCE has performed admirably under extremely trying circumstances, especially during the renewed aggressive attacks by Russian-backed separatists of the past several weeks,” stated Ambassador Baer. “In the face of a massive increase of violence, your team has managed to provide much needed information about the situation on the ground while staying out of harm’s way.”
The United States praised the efforts of Ambassador Apakan and his team in providing a clear line of communication to the OSCE Permanent Council, successfully assisting in the evacuation of civilian populations under fire, all while operating in an ever-changing, dangerous environment.
The SMM has increased the number of monitors as of February 3 to 413, including the 20 that are in training in Kyiv, with the United States providing 44 monitors. We expect that number to increase to fifty monitors by the end of the month. In addition, the United States remains committed to supporting the SMM financially and has transferred a further $1 million contribution to the Special Monitoring Mission, to support the expansion of the SMM to its full complement of 500 monitors.
For further information please contact:
U.S. Mission to the OSCE | Kathy Eagen, Public Affairs Counselor