Some OSCE participating States decided that their secondees in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) should leave Ukraine within the next days, but the Mission will continue to implement its mandate.
“The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine is a civilian mission. The majority of international mission members are seconded by OSCE participating States. The secondment system allows participating States to make decisions inter alia on the relocation of their secondees in or out of the country. Recently, certain participating States have decided that their respective secondees in the SMM should leave Ukraine within the next days,” reads the press statement from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
As noted, the SMM will continue to implement its OSCE approved mandate with its monitors deployed in ten cities throughout Ukraine.
“The SMM places the highest priority on the safety and security of all its staff and will continue to assess the security situation continuously,” the statement reads.
On Sunday, Reuters quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the U.S. staff at the OSCE SMM started to leave Donetsk. However, according to the agency, it is unclear whether this is a complete departure of U.S. monitors from the city temporarily occupied by Russians or just another rotation.
Earlier, a spokesman for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office announced the decision to recall UK’s secondees in the OSCE SMM for security reasons.