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Sending OSCE observers to southeast of Ukraine by Kiev might be a provocation — Churkin

April 30, 2014, 14:01 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Russia's ambassador to the UN said that the Russian side was trying to secure the release of observers, who were detained in Sloviansk April 25

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Members of the OSCE observer mission captured by self-defence forces on Apr. 27 2014

Members of the OSCE observer mission captured by self-defence forces on Apr. 27 2014

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

UNITED NATIONS, April 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Sending observers from member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) by Kiev authorities to Ukraine’s southeast was either a provocation or “a folly,” Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday. In his view, the observers were invited by Kiev authorities, “therefore, they were responsible for their security.”

“How could they put military guests in a bus and send them without an appropriate co-ordination to an area controlled by self-defense forces, without giving them any documents confirming their status? It was either a provocation or, I beg your pardon, a folly,” the Russian ambassador said.

He said that the Russian side “is trying to secure the release of observers”. “One of them has already been released for health reasons,” the diplomat recalled.

Unarmed military observers from a number of OSCE member states were detained outside Sloviansk over the past weekend. They were staying in the Ukrainian territory at the invitation of the Kiev authorities in accordance with the norms of the Vienna Document on confidence-building measures in the military sphere.

Churkin also said that “the Kiev regime, encouraged by the Western ‘friends,’ is persistently pushing the country towards a catastrophe”.

According to the diplomat, it is clear from the statements and actions of the Kiev authorities that they are not going to fulfill the agreements, reached at a meeting in Geneva on April 17. He recalled that just several days after the meeting “there was the resumption of the so-called ‘antiterrorist,’ and in essence a punitive operation.” “Some 15,000 troops, tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, planes, units of the Right Sector were sent to the southeast of Ukraine,” the RF ambassador to the UN said.

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