April 10, 2017: three representatives of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Observer Mission at the Russian checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk came to the city of Taganrog. The purpose of their visit was to meet with Taganrog Management and Economics College students to provide some information about their mission's mandate and what they do on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
College president Mr. Sergey Avakov, deputy president for international relations Mrs. Ludmila Sveshnikova, Taganrog foreign relations officer Mr. Alexander Mirgorodski and associate professor Mrs. Veronica Romanenko welcomed the guests at the inner office and exchanged opinions on the importance of communication and discussions between representatives of the largest regional security organization and college students and professors.
Chief Observer Mr. Flavien Schaller delivered a lecture at the historical building's assembly hall, which was dedicated to OSCE history, its structure and institutions, major issues and OSCE dimensions: politico-military, economic-environmental and human. He also gave insight into how this mechanism works and explained the fundamental principles known as "The Decalogue" and defined by The Helsinki Final Act.
Within the framework of Observer Mission Mandate, since August 2014 the team of border observers from 14 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Serbia, Switzerland, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy and Tajikistan) has been monitoring and reporting on the situation at the checkpoints of Donetsk and Gukovo, as well as on the movements across the border during the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
At the end of his presentation, Mr. Schaller demonstrated several graphics showing statistics for border crossings and their analysis. The audience showed genuine interest for the lecture, resulting in an informal discussion in the mixture of English, French, German and Russian languages. College professors and students asked many questions concerning a wide scope of OSCE activities and tasks, which once again highlighted the general interest for the independent observer mission in time of international tensions and discordant information delivered by various mass media.
During the tour of the city, members of the observer mission visited Taganrog historical downtown area and Museum of local lore & history known as The Alferaki Palace.