German army mulls providing OSCE with drones to monitor ukraine cease-fire

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germanThe German army is assessing whether to provide drones for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the fragile cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine, the German defense ministry said Tuesday.

The announcement comes a day ahead of an expected decision by Germany’s cabinet on whether to send police advisers to the country as part of a European Union mission to help Ukraine reform its police force and civilian security.

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The ministry said it has sent 14 German military personnel alongside a team from the French military to Ukraine to look into providing Luna unarmed drones as part of an OSCE mission to monitor the border with Russia.

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The OSCE last week called on its partners to provide drones for the monitoring mission in the border area. The organization said it would also increase the number of monitors on the ground.

Luna drones have a wingspan of just under 14 feet and are made by Bavarian company EMT Penzberg. The German military has used them in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

In a telephone call late Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to fully withdraw troops from Ukraine and secure the border to Russia as key elements for achieving a lasting end to the conflict