Estonia supports the OSCE special mission and Council of Europe aid project in Ukraine


Estonia considers the dispatch of an OSCE special mission to Ukraine to be of great importance, the aim of which is to re-establish peace and stability in Ukraine. Foreign minister Urmas Paet said that the international community must currently do everything possible to support a free, democratic and undivided Ukraine. "Contributing to the OSCE mission is definitely one essential activity for achieving these goals," he added.

According to the foreign minister, the task of the observers is to monitor and mediate the situation there. "Estonia's readiness to take part in the special mission is great – we support the activity of the OSCE in Ukraine both financially and in practice," he said. "Estonia has put forward a total of 22 candidates for the mission. At present, two Estonian observers are taking part in the mission, but if OSCE increases the mission in the future, it's possible that more will join," Paet added.

Observers will be sent to various parts of Ukraine for six months, including Herson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Chernivtsi and Luhansk. The number of observers may initially increase from 100 people to 500 people. The observers will arrive in Ukraine gradually and the entire mission will be present in the country by April 18.

Estonia also supports the Council of Europe's legal and legislative aid project. This will be used to support the investigation into human rights violations by use of excessive force during the street riots. It will also contribute to greater inclusion of civil society in decision-making and to increasing awareness of minority rights. The aid project is also intended to support raising Ukrainian parliament members' awareness of the fight against corruption, the rights of members of the coalition and opposition and obligations in parliamentary work.

Foreign minister Paet considers the aid project to be important when taking account the presidential elections taking place on May 25. "The Council of Europe is also contributing to the observation and monitoring of the Ukrainian presidential elections, in order to ensure the elections' full compliance with European standards," he added.

Estonia has allocated 20 000 euros to support the OSCE special mission to Ukraine and 10 000 euros for the Council of Europe's aid project.

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