Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 98

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has "semi-officially" requested the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to close its mission in Kiev and its sub-mission in the Crimean capital, Simferopol, Ukrainian foreign minister Hennady Udovenko told Interfax-Ukraine May 20. "We think the mission has completed its task," he said, and its continued presence "implies that there is an unstable situation. We think the situation is gradually stabilizing." Udovenko stressed, however, that no official request had yet been made. (Interfax-Ukraine, May 20) The OSCE secretariat in Vienna said the organization had no immediate plans to withdraw the mission, which was set up in November 1994 when tensions between the central Ukrainian authorities and the authorities in Crimea, Ukraine’s only autonomous republic, were high. Tensions have since been substantially reduced, but the OSCE said it expected the mandate of the mission to be extended for a further six months.

Azerbaijani-Armenian Prisoner Exchange Questioned