Monday, September 8, 2014

Ukraine/Russia/NATO: Eastern Ukraine Shaky, But Holding

According to The Latin American Tribune, the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine was shaky but holding as of Monday (September 8), according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE), the body responsible for overseeing the truce between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists and a mixture of Russian security forces.

The coming days will be crucial, the Swiss Ambassador to the OSCE Thomas Greminger, assured in a speech to the Permanent Council of the organization, which includes 57 countries, among them Russia and the Ukraine.

“Overall, the cease-fire held even though it is still shaky,” Greminger said. The OSCE immediately started monitoring the cease-fire, and is strengthening its team with 59 specialists.

Greminger also emphasized that the OSCE has begun recruiting 250 additional experts to extend the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, launched in March and will continue doing all in its power to bring peace and stability to the Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military command reported that pro-Russian separatist militias have violated the ceasefire at least five times.

Pro-Russian rebels exchanged fire Sunday night (September 7) with Ukrainian forces near the towns of Nizhnyaya Krynka, Zhdanivka, Zolote, Peski and Fashivka.

COMMENT: The OSCE Permanent Council was set to convene a special session Monday to focus on the human rights situation in Ukraine.

The current chairman of the organization, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, called on member countries to rapidly expand the Special Monitoring Mission in the Ukraine.

Burkhalter said member countries need to nominate candidates with relevant experience and contribute to the financing of the mission.