Ukraine seeks OSCE SMM expansion to Crimea, police mission deployment to Donbas

Ukraine seeks OSCE SMM expansion to Crimea, police mission deployment to DonbasUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held a phone conversation with President of the European Council Donald Tusk to discuss escalation in eastern Ukraine and at the administrative border between mainland Ukraine and Russia-occupied Crimea, as well as steps that need to be taken to address the situation.

"The head of state informed the other side about cynical acts of provocation by the Russian Federation in the occupied Crimea, and the escalation of its aggressive actions in Donbas. Further, the sides touched on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Poroshenko stressed the need to enhance the international presence in Donbas, in particular through the expansion of the OSCE [Special Monitoring] Mission's mandate, and farther to Crimea, and the deployment of an OSCE armed police mission in Donbas," the Ukrainian presidential press service said in a statement posted on the president's official website on Wednesday.

It is important for the EU to resolutely react to Russian provocations and actions to artificially foment tensions, he said.

"After the latest events in Crimea, there should be no illusions regarding the Russian Federation's intentions. Sanctions and their reinforcement are an efficient influence mechanism," he said.

Poroshenko and Tusk also discussed prospects for the soonest liberalisation of EU visa procedures for Ukrainian citizens and coordinated further steps in this direction.

"The head of state reaffirmed an invitation to the European Council president to visit Ukraine to take part in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy," it said.

The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers issued a directive on holding mourning ceremonies at the Babyn Yar national historical and memorial complex in Kyiv on September 29, 2016, in which the country's top leadership will take part.
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