EU to provide additional EUR 18 mln to OSCE SMM in Ukraine
The European Union is allocating additional EUR 18 million for the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the OSCE in Ukraine to increase the mission's capacity to monitor and verify the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine as envisaged by the Minsk agreements.
"As part of its support for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the European Union is stepping up its support for the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with a further EUR 18 million assistance package for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM). This will bring the total amount of European Commission support to the SMM to EUR 25 million. The funding should increase the SMM's capacity to monitor and verify the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine, as foreseen in the Minsk agreements," the EU said in a press release published on Friday.
"The EU is deploying all the tools at its disposal to support the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which offer the best chance we have for moving towards a peaceful, sustainable solution to the conflict in Ukraine based on respect for its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity," the press release quoted High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini as saying.
A total of EUR 6 million of the EUR 18 million package will be used to fund SMM monitors, while the rest EUR 12 million will go for satellite imagery and analysis to be provided by the EU Satellite Centre as well as other complementary monitoring tools.
The EU is currently in talks with the SMM to supply it with up 43 additional armored vehicles. It has already provided the SMM with 40 unarmored vehicles, medical equipment, training for monitors and support for the SMM's planning capacity.