Experts Welcome Russian Proposals to Support Ukrainian Peace Process

MOSCOW, July 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Experts at the International Foundation for Better Governance (IFBG) welcomed Russian Government proposals for joint monitoring of key points on the Russian-Ukrainian border today as a key step towards normalising the situation in Ukraine. The IFBG welcomes this initiative as crucial to support of the peace programme for the troubled region, and creating the climate in which further discussion and negotiation can resolve the conflict.

Following talks between the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Russian proposals for increased collaboration with Ukrainian border control representatives and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers. Such efforts will help increase transparency and support the peace process.

"We will be ready to submit a draft resolution to the OSCE's Permanent Council shortly, authorizing the deployment of OSCE observers at Russian border checkpoints, which is expected to guarantee control over their transparency and to demonstrate that these border checkpoints are not being used for illegal purposes," Sergey Lavrov said.

Under the proposals Russia will allow Ukrainian representatives to be present at all border check point on the Russian side. Both OSCE observers and Ukrainian representatives may be present at all Russian border check points not controlled from the opposite side by Ukrainian border guards. The invitation to Ukrainian border guards and OSCE observers will remain open provided the cease-fire is maintained.

According to the IFBG, the plans are a welcome gesture of goodwill on Russia's part and reaffirm the country's commitment to the peace process in Ukraine.

It is to be hoped that this initiative will prove to be one of many illustrations of multi-lateral collaboration to support the Ukrainian peace process and ultimately enable the country to provide a stable and supportive environment for its citizens.

Practical implementation is expected to follow shortly. According to Mr Lavrov, Russia expects consultations to "start very soon between the Russian and Ukrainian border guard services in order to agree parameters for the presence of Ukrainian border guard monitors at Russian checkpoints."

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SOURCE International Foundation for Better Governance

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