Berlin hopes to send 200 troops to help OSCE Ukraine team

4th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

Germany hopes to send 200 soldiers to Ukraine to help protect the OSCE mission monitoring the ceasefire in the restive east, the Bild newspaper reported Saturday.

Fifty members of the parachute regiment would be among the contingent, which must still be approved by Germany's parliament, the daily said, without naming its sources.

A foreign ministry spokesman said the French and German governments were working with the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on ways to support its mission in Ukraine.

"For the moment, it consists only of exploratory discussions," the spokesman said, adding that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had discussed the topic during meetings in Paris on Friday.

The two countries are already considering sending drones to help monitor the OSCE mission in Ukraine, the French foreign ministry said Monday.

The OSCE is charged with monitoring the truce between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country that was signed last month.

Fighting has continued in the region despite the ceasefire. Kiev has accused Moscow of supplying the rebels with manpower, supplies and heavy weaponry -- which Russia has denied.

© 2014 AFP

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