More and more criticism is emanating in Ukraine about the installation by the OSCE of monitoring towers in the army-held territories in Donbas. Their cameras cover only the Ukraine army positions, not these of the rebels.
The army says the OSCE has ignored its reports of intensified rebels’ attacks in Zajtseve and other regions. This inaction encourages the rebels to step up their attacks, the army says.
The OSCE explains the absence of cameras in the rebel-held territories by the refusal of the separatists to let OSCE technicians enter their territories.
The OSCE mission is operating in the interests of Russia, political expert Yevhen Zherebetsky says but there is no alternative to it now.
The rebels are Russia’s puppets on the strings. So, to get them cooperate needs Russia’s consent, he says. As Russia prefers to distance itself, there is no alternative to OSCE now, he says.
First, it is no one’s secret that there are many Russian stooges in the OSCE, he says.
Second, there are many Russians in the OSCE mission in Donbas which is unacceptable since Russia and Ukraine are at war.
The Russians serving in the Donbas mission have been caught red-handed more than once when they handed over information to Russia, the expert says.
Germany and France are eager to quash the scandal, he says.
As regards the so-called encrypted signal from the OSCE cameras, there is no guarantee that the Russians have not decoded it – and know everything happening at Ukraine army positions.
If the rebels do not allow the monitors to cross into their zone, Ukraine should also ban them to do the same because the OSCE is not Ukraine’s ally, he says.
Meanwhile, ex-foreign minister Volodymyr Ohryzko points out that the OSCE is merely a monitoring, not conflict-settling, organization with heavy Russian domination.
Why aren’t the same cameras installed in rebel-held-territories? Ohryzko asks. Because all decisions within the OSCE are subject to consensus, with Russia obstructing the unfavorable ones.
“As far as I know, the OSCE reports are usually balanced,” Ohryzko said.
Still, the OSCE can be criticized for showing no determination in pressing the Russian authorities to give it access to Crimea, something the OSCE mandate prescribes, Ohryzko says.
There are many issues when international efforts to resolve the existing problems come to naught due to Russia’s obstruction. That is why the OSCE mission has such a small role to play, he notes.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s officials positively assess the role of the OSCE in Donbas. There are no reasons to say that the presence of the Russians on the mission staff makes it anti-Ukrainian, they say.
The isolated cases of spying for Russia exposed by Ukraine special services received adequate response from the OSCE, they say.