Foreign Minister of Austria, a country currently heading the OSCE after his talks with his Russian counterpart noted a decisive role of Moscow in solving the conflicts in Europe in general and “a great responsibility” of Russia in resolving Donbas armed conflict in particular.
Ukrainian experts have positively reacted to the earlier proclaimed by Kurz intention to increase the number of observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and organize their observations during the nighttime.
Kurt who is usually inclined to careful diplomatic statements demonstrated a firm EU position on economic sanctions against Russia.
In his interview for Russian media he said that relaxing sanctions is only possible after a full implementation of Minsk agreements by Moscow. At the same time he noted that lifting of sanctions will only be in part unrelated to sanctions for Crimea annexation.
Soon 700 SMM observers will get additional technical equipment and their mission will be extended, he said. The majority of clashes and shooting happens at night when the OSCE mission does not monitor the situation, he also noted.
The biggest problem Kurz considers the lack of trust between the parties, as well as distrust in Western agents.
"The Ukrainian side does not trust Russia. And Moscow has the impression that the EU is not interested in good relations with Russia, but only in resolving the conflict," he said. He intends to make progress using the policy of "small steps".
Earlier it was reported that OSCE’s head Kurz visited Ukraine on January 16-17. The Austrian diplomat met with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin.