Following today’s (21 March) decision by the Permanent Council of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe) to deploy a monitoring mission to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Steinmeier stated in Berlin:
“Getting this done took days and nights of strenuous effort. I’m glad that we can now send the OSCE monitors on their way.
This does not mean that the crisis is over yet, but it’s a step that boosts our efforts to bring about a de‑escalation.
The number of monitors on the ground will be large enough for us to obtain independent and thus reliable information on the situation in Ukraine. This will make it possible to counter rumours and allegations with facts, and that should also help to defuse the situation.
The situation in Ukraine remains unstable and threatening. That’s why the monitors must take up their work as quickly as possible.
This is also good news on the eve of my trip to Ukraine. Ukraine deserves our support as it embarks upon a difficult path of root‑and‑branch political and economic reforms.
In my talks with political leaders in Kyiv, I plan to discuss what we can do to assist the upcoming reform process, and I want to get my own sense of the situation in the country based on talks with political decision‑makers in Kyiv and eastern Ukraine.”
In recent days, Foreign Minister Steinmeier has coordinated closely with Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss Foreign Minister currently chairing the OSCE, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to negotiate the OSCE decision. The final stages of the negotiations called for multiple talks a day.
Germany is currently in the process of selecting its monitors to the OSCE monitoring mission.