Merkel urges release of Ukraine military monitors

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The German chancellor calls for immediate release of abducted observers

The German chancellor calls for immediate release of abducted observers

BERLIN - Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Wednesday for the immediate release of international observers abducted in eastern Ukraine. 

Germany is currently using "all diplomatic channels" to find a solution, Merkel said after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Berlin. 

"Russia could do more. This [release of OSCE military monitors] would be a very important symbol for a de-escalation. But it must be followed by other signs," said Merkel. "There is a willingness to carry out economic sanctions. If all this does not bear fruit, we think that further sanctions are necessary." 

The eight observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe were abducted by pro-Russian forces in Slavyansk on Friday.

A Swedish member of the monitoring group was freed Sunday on health grounds just a few hours after the monitors were shown for the first time to the media at a press conference.

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