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OSCE military observers not allowed to enter Crimea

March 06, 2014, 18:18 UTC+3 VIENNA
The observers were stopped at a checkpoint on the way from Odessa to Crimea
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People build a barrier on the Simferopol - Sevastopol road (archive)

People build a barrier on the Simferopol - Sevastopol road (archive)

© EPA/ANTON PEDKO

VIENNA, March 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were not allowed to enter Crimea (autonomy within Ukraine) on Thursday, March 6, an OSCE official told ITAR-TASS.

The observers were stopped at a checkpoint on the way from Odessa to Crimea.

Military observers from 21 member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) left Odessa, Ukraine, by bus and headed to Crimea (autonomy within Ukraine) earlier in the day.

On Wednesday, March 5, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said the observers had failed to reach Crimea.

The group of experts was set up after Ukraine had sent an invitation to its OSCE partners. Twenty-one countries responded. Fourty observers and one Conflict Prevention Centre official left for Ukraine.

The decision to send observers to Ukraine was made by Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, the United States, Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Estonia. They were later joined by Austria, Iceland and Italy.

Under the Vienna document on confidence-building measures and security, each country can send no more than two experts. No mandate of the OSCE Standing Committee is need for forming a group of observers.

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