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OSCE Chair to conclude visit to Ukraine


OSCE Chair to conclude visit to Ukraine

Photo: Reuters

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office, Ann Linde, will conclude an official visit to Ukraine today.

Following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the OSCE has attempted to broker a settlement to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The organization facilitated a ceasefire in east Ukraine in 2020, yet registered 108 shelling attacks in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in late May alone.

Obstacles to an end-status agreement include Russia’s occupation of Crimea, the buildup of Russian military equipment along Ukraine’s border and Moscow’s insistence on Kyiv recognizing Russian-backed separatist governments.

Expect Linde to use today’s visit to affirm the OSCE’s support for both Ukrainian sovereignty and a political solution to the conflict. Linde will likely discuss the declining number of OSCE observers permitted on Russia’ side of the border with Ukrainian officials, while pressing Kyiv to continue engaging with Moscow via the OSCE-backed Trilateral Contact Group. As retaining international support is critical to Ukrainian interests, Ukraine will likely continue negotiations. However, a durable peace agreement remains unlikely in the medium-term. Disagreements between the two countries are wide-ranging, including disputes over discussion venues and Russian support for separatists, and remain unresolved despite years of OSCE mediation.

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