OSCE says will use drones along Russia-Ukraine border

11th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said Thursday it will use drones to monitor the Russia-Ukraine border in its mission to broker deals between Ukraine's warring sides.

"We want to continue to help de-escalate the crisis," OSCE head and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter told reporters after talks with his Latvian counterpart Andris Berzins in Riga.

"Therefore we are scaling up the mission in number and in capabilities as well.

"We are also trying to get very soon capabilities in border control -- that means drones for being able to monitor the border between Russia and Ukraine," Burkhalter said.

Drones would also be used to monitor the fragile ceasefire brokered in Minsk to help bring an end to five months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, he added.

The European Union has agreed to introduce new sanctions against Russia on Friday targeting oil and defence firms, but said it could lift them if a Ukraine ceasefire holds.

Russia hit back, saying it has drawn up new anti-Western sanctions targeting imports of consumer goods and second-hand cars.

Moscow has repeatedly denied Western allegations it is supplying weapons to pro-Kremlin separatists battling government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Burkhalter added that it was "very important" that there also be a political process and national dialogue to start "addressing the main issues for building a true future for Ukraine".

© 2014 AFP

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