Germany supports the civilian OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
On 20 March 2017 three cameras that Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had pledged to provide during his most recent visit to Ukraine were handed over to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine.
These cameras, which are worth 172,000 euros, are part of the support that Germany is giving to the Mission in the form of equipment, specialist personnel and training.
"We need the OSCE to be continuously present along the line of contact, and we need it to have good situational awareness", said German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.Enlarge image During his visit to Kyiv on 2 March 2017 German FM Gabriel met monitors of the OSCE SMM and announced the German hardware support. (© Thomas trutschel / photothek)
Ernst Reichel, Germany’s Ambassador to Ukraine, handed over to the Chief Monitor of the OSCE’s civilian Special Monitoring Mission, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, three high-resolution thermal imaging cameras.
German Foreign Minister Gabriel had accounced the presentation of such equipment which is part of Germany's support for the SMM in in the form of equipment, specialist personnel and training during his visit to the Ukranian capital in the beginning of March 2017.
The cameras can provide important around-the-clock situational awareness from the line of contact, and they can show how efforts to implement the agreed ceasefire and troop withdrawal are going.
In the connection with the hand-over, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement in Berlin:
Enlarge image On 20 March 2017 German Ambassador Reichel presented in Kyiv three new thermal imaging cameras to the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Ambassador Apakan (© German Embassy Kyiv)
“The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is doing great work. Without it, the conflict could have escalated militarily on numerous occasions. We need the OSCE to be continuously present along the line of contact, and we need it to have good situational awareness.
It is therefore in our interest to do everything in our power to support the Special Monitoring Mission. Support is urgently needed, because the monitors face numerous challenges and obstacles on a daily basis. In the last few weeks alone, their patrols have repeatedly come under fire, and another surveillance drone was destroyed. Only if the sides to the conflict finally guarantee the safety of the OSCE monitors and give them access to the conflict area can they monitor observance of the ceasefire in the long term.
Moreover, even the best technology is useless if the sides to the conflict do not finally implement what they agreed a long time ago. Until guns fall silent and heavy weapons are withdrawn from the line of contact, we will not make any headway in the political process, and those affected by the conflict will continue to suffer."