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VIENNA, June 05. /ITAR-TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has practically withdrawn all its observers from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, an OSCE representative told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.
Several OSCE observers will stay on the territory of these regions for security reasons, while until recently the OSCE observer group there numbered almost 40.
The observers have been transferred from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions to neighboring regions, the OSCE source specified. It also said that two groups of the OSCE observers, who had been monitoring the situation and were reported missing since May 26 and May 29, respectively, had not re-established contact with their OSCE colleagues.
Earlier, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier had warned that OSCE intended to cut its observer mission in the east of Ukraine. Commenting on the expected cuts, Zannier said that OSCE had to transfer a number of its observers from Donetsk to Kharkiv, Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk, adding that a group of the OSCE observers in the Luhansk region might be cut as well. OSCE will have to do it for security reasons as a temporary measure rather than a political gesture, Zannier explained.