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Federalization supporters and Kiev authorities negotiate exchange of OSCE observers

The supporters of federalization are also holding three SBU employees, Sloviansk popular mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said

KIEV, May 1. /ITAR-TASS/. Supporters of Sloviansk federalization are holding negotiations with Kiev authorities about the possible exchange of the detained military observers from Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) member states for their associates. Ukraine’s UNN news agency reported this on Thursday.

The military observers “remain in Sloviansk, we have provided them with comfortable conditions, our relations are friendly. Of course, they want to go home, and we are already holding relevant negotiations with Kiev authorities. We hope that we’ll manage to exchange them for our associates that have been detained in Kiev,” the agency quoted the popular mayor of Sloviansk Vyacheslav Ponomaryov as saying.

He added that they continue to hold three employees of Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU), who were detained on Friday together with OSCE experts.

“They are also with us, they are well; we will also try to exchange them,” Ponomaryov said.

{article_photo:729701:'Military observers detained in Slavyansk claim they were on ‘sightseeing tour’':'right':'50'}How the observers were detained

A group of OSCE military observers from Germany, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden arrived in the Donetsk region April 22.

April 25, Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reported that it lost communication with representatives of the OSCE mission in Donetsk region. According to spokesperson for Ukraine’s Minisatry of Foreign Affairs Yevhen Perebiynis, they could be kidnapped. The spokesperson added that “in case these reports prove true, OSCE and Ukraine will respond adequately”.

Observers group accused of espionage

Sloviansk local authorities temporarily detained the OSCE observers group suspecting it in comprising an SBU officer, according to Reuters news agency.