(QHA) -

All member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have approved of a decision to prolong the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine for another six months, OSCE SMM spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said at a press conference in Odesa.

The mission's mandate was valid for six months, and has now been prolonged for another six months under a decision adopted by all 57 member countries of the OSCE, he said.

The SMM is currently working in ten cities of Ukraine and the number of its monitors will soon reach 300, he said.

Certainly, the mission is present mainly in Ukraine's eastern regions, where 90 SMM observers are now working, Bociurkiw said.

For his part, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM Alexander Hug reaffirmed the mission's plans to increase its staff to 500 people, of whom 350 will be sent to eastern Ukraine.

He also said that the mission's field offices would continue to operate in ten Ukrainian cities, including Luhansk.

QHA