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OSCE: Putin 'supportive' of Ukraine roadmap

AFP/The Local · 13 May 2014, 00:58

Published: 13 May 2014 00:58 GMT+02:00

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Vladimir Putin is "supportive" of the OSCE's de-escalation roadmap for Ukraine, the Vienna-based European security body said Monday after a phone call between its chairman and the Russian president.

"In a phone call by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier today, (OSCE chairman Didier) Burkhalter was told that Russia was supportive of the roadmap and of the OSCE's engagement in Ukraine," the OSCE said in a statement.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that this meant that the plan had now received "positive responses" from Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States.

This roadmap, drawn up last week, "shows a pragmatic way forward to moving from the logic of escalation to the logic of cooperation and enhancing stability on the ground," the OSCE said.

It focuses on "restraint from violence, disarmament, national dialogue, and elections and seeks to support the Ukrainian government in providing a conducive environment for holding fair and free elections throughout the country on May 25," the OSCE said.

A first step in the OSCE roadmap has been to name respected veteran German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger as a moderator for the round table talks that would involve the Ukraine government, parliament and the regions.

The OSCE, which began life as a forum for East-West dialogue in the Cold War and is becoming an important player in the Ukraine crisis, aims to have around 1,000 observers on the ground for the May 25 presidential election.

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In addition it has some 150 monitors plus local support staff monitoring events, including in violent flashpoint areas of eastern Ukraine. Several military observers were held by rebels for around a week by pro-Russian rebels until May 3.

Burkhalter is also Swiss president, with Switzerland currently the holder of the 57-nation OSCE's rotating chairmanship.

AFP/The Local (rosie.waites@thelocal.com)

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