Interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(a)6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 28 May 2021.

Madame Chair,

In connection with the adoption of the Decision on the Extension of the deployment of the OSCE Observers to two Russian Checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian Border, I would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.

Norway welcomes the decision to extend the period of deployment of the Border Observation Mission. We recall that the Minsk Protocol calls for permanent monitoring of the border and that the Minsk Package of Measure calls for Ukrainian control of its entire international border. As long as Ukrainian authorities are denied such control by the armed formations of certain areas of Luhansk and Donetsk and these armed formations also continue to restrict the freedom of movement of the SMM near the state border, the Border Observation Mission continues to play a vital role as a confidence building measure.

The limited geographical presence limits the mission’s ability to effectively monitor the border, we would therefore prefer an increased geographical footprint. Moreover, the short mandate periods lead to a disproportionate use of resources for administrative purposes. In an organisation where resources are scarce and shrinking, this is an inappropriate use of the time and  funds available.

Ideally, mandate periods should be extended, not shrunk.  We have not heard any convincing  arguments from the Russian Federation for their refusal to prolong the mandate by the regular four months, and thereby redirecting resources away from mandated tasks to self-administration. We urge them to reconsider their new approach before the next mandate extension.

Madame Chair, I request that this statement be attached to the decision and the journal of the day.


Thank you