Russia has refused to extend the mandate of international observers to monitor two border crossing points with Ukraine, a U.S. official said.
“The United States deeply regrets that the Russian Federation has indicated that it will not join consensus to extend the mission’s mandate and financing arrangement at the end of September,” Courtney Austrian, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said in a September 2 statement.
Austrian said the OSCE mission has carried out its mandate to provide “impartial reporting” of border crossing at two points in a professional manner and served as a tool to build confidence between Russia and Ukraine.
She said the Kremlin’s decision to end the mandate “looks to be just the latest in a long line of broken promises and the most recent demonstration that maintaining positive relations with its neighbors is simply not a priority for Russia.”
There was no immediate reaction by Russia to Austrian’s comments.
Russia is accused of sending troops and weapons over the border into eastern Ukraine and fomenting a war in an attempt to destabilize its neighbor and bring it back into its orbit.
The war, now in its eighth year, has resulted in the death of more than 13,200 people and devastated Ukraine’s economy.