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Russian, German Diplomats Call For 1,000 OSCE Observers For Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier have called on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to double the number of observers it has in Ukraine to 1,000.

The two ministers spoke by telephone on March 6. Following the conversation, Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement that said Lavrov and Steinmeier "called on the OSCE to make a quick decision on extending the mandate of its special monitoring mission and ramping up its size to 1,000 observers."

Meanwhile, the representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France met in Berlin on March 6 as part of continuing efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said after the meeting, "All of us, except the Ukrainian representative, agreed that we should focus on strengthening the role of the OSCE mission and the Contact Group."

The latest cease-fire agreement from last month has eased fighting in eastern Ukraine but the process remains fragile and scattered violations of the cease-fire continue to be reported.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and TASS