Heavy weapons of the self-proclaimed republics of Donbas should be returned to the Russian Federation, and should not be stored on site during the local elections. If not, Russia could potentially then have their own military bases in the area as per the OSCE mandate. This was stated by the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin, in an interview with Levyi Bereg.
“One of the OSCE’s proposals is to establish a warehouse in Donbas where military equipment and weapons could be stored during the elections. This means that Russia will actually have military bases on Ukrainian territory where weapons could be deployed from, and we will be unable to do anything about it. This is all possible under the mandate of the OSCE mission”, Klimkin
Klimkin said that there are currently hundreds of units of heavy weapons in the Donbas.
“These include tanks and armored vehicles. All of those units won’t be left there once the OSCE takes control of the border”, he said.
According to Klimkin, if all of these weapons stay in the Donbas, there is no hope for any kind of safety.
Recently, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that during the Berlin talks, the Normandy Four agreed on the deployment of an armed OSCE mission, the road map for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the withdrawal of forces.
Russia has refuted statements made by Poroshenko with regard to the OSCE mission, by claiming that only a potential agreement on the deployment was given in Berlin.