#AceWorldNews – GENEVA – June 03 – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is reducing the number of observers in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Eastern Ukraine for security reasons, OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier told journalists on Tuesday.
The OSCE will continue monitoring Ukraine’s eastern regions as closely as possible but at the moment it has to relocate its observers from Donetsk to safer places such as Kharkiv, Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk so that they could perform their monitoring functions from there, Zannier said, adding the OSCE would also cut the number of observers in the Luhansk region.
The OSCE Secretary-General added that observers lost in east Ukraine are safe.
KYIV, May 30 /Ukrinform/. Four more foreign observers from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and a Ukrainian interpreter who worked in Luhansk disappeared on Thursday, the OSCE press office reported.
“Yesterday at about 19.00 the Special OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine lost contact with several members of its team, who work in Luhansk region,” the report reads.
The OSCE mission noted that in Severodonetsk (100 km from Luhansk) the observers were detained by armed men.
In addition, the OSCE reported that the organization still has no contact with the four observers who went missing in Donetsk region in the evening on May 26. Earlier, some media reported that the militants released the group of observers.
The observer missions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will continue working in east Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions despite incidents when their observers went missing there, Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the OSCE’s mission in Ukraine, said Monday.
(SwissInfo) – May 29 – An insurgent leader in Eastern Ukraine has said his group kidnapped four observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), among them a Swiss.
The group had been missing since Tuesday.
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, who has declared himself mayor of the city of Slovyansk in the eastern Ukranian Donetsk region, told the media the monitors were safe and would be released.
“I addressed the OSCE mission to warn them that their people should not, over the coming week, travel in areas under our control. And they decided to show up anyway,” Ponomarev told the Associated Press.
“We will figure out who [the observers] are, where they were going and will then let them go,” he said to the Interfax news agency. The other members of the observer team come from Turkey, Denmark and Estonia.
Mr Schneider said he understood that the self-proclaimed mayor, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, could use the observers as a bargaining chip. Mr Ponomarev said Saturday that they could be released in exchange for jailed pro-Russia activists.