Norway regrets that the Russian Federation seems to have decided not to further extend the mandate of the Border Observation Mission. Despite its limited geographical scope, the mission has served as a confidence building tool, and should be given the opportunity to remain in place and continue its valuable work.
The conflict in and around Ukraine remains high on the agenda for Norway and for the OSCE. Any efforts to resolve this conflict, to monitor and mitigate its consequences and contribute to dialogue, should be strengthened, and not weakened. We therefore urge the Russian Federation to reconsider its decision.
I once again reiterate my respect for the work performed by ambassador Varga and his team in the Border Observation Mission. Norway stands ready to continue discussions to see if consensus about an extension of the mandate of the mission still is within reach.