OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Poland Zbigniew Rau and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid on Thursday announced that the OSCE would take immediate steps to implement the closure of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the OSCE said in a statement.
The decision followed the lack of consensus at the OSCE Permanent Council on 31 March 2022 to extend the mission’s mandate.
“This is not an easy decision to take,” Rau was cited as saying in the statement. “We have explored all possible options through political dialogue with participating states to achieve the renewal of the Special Monitoring Mission’s mandate, but the position of the Russian Federation left us with no choice but to take steps to close down the mission.”
“The mission played a crucial role in providing objective information on the ground, facilitating ceasefires and working to ease the effects of the conflict on the civilian population,” he said. “The work of the SMM’s members deserves our appreciation and gratitude”.