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Ukrainian diplomat says missing OSCE observers’ location unknown

May 28, 2014, 19:26 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgen Perebeynis says the monitors are held by one of pro-Russian groups
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©  AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

KIEV, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The location of missing observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is still unknown, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgen Perebeynis told journalists Wednesday.

Perebeynis claimed that the monitors are held by “one of pro-Russian groups”. “We have only operational information,” he said.

The OSCE special observer mission in Ukraine said Monday it has lost contact with its team working in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine. The OSCE said it had last been in touch with the group of four monitors at 18.00 local time on Monday, when the group was involved in planned patrols of Donetsk's eastern part.

The has not established contact with a group of OSCE observers reported missing near Donetsk for two days, OSCE spokeswoman Cathie Burton said Wednesday. “Their whereabouts are still unknown," she added.


OSCE observers go missing

The four OSCE observers that went missing Monday are nationals of Estonia, Turkey, Switzerland and Denmark, Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for Ukraine’s mission in Ukraine, said Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said that according to available information, the incident occurred at a security checkpoint when the group was returning from the city of Luhansk to Donetsk. He said the observers could be in one of the nearby inhabited localities.

Earlier, representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic told an ITAR-TASS correspondent that they had not hindered the activity of the OSCE monitors.

“We did not hinder their activity and have nothing to do with that. We don’t know what happened,” they said.

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