Situation in Ukraine deteriorating fast as OSCE military observers are released
ANKARA - Ertugrul Apakan, the chief monitor from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine called Saturday for an immediate halt of the ongoing violence in the country.
Apakan said in a statement that the situation in the east of Ukraine had deteriorated in the last 24-hours, but that the organization was delighted at the release of the military observers held hostage since Friday 25 April and pleased to have been able to assist the Ukrainian authorities in the efforts that led to their release.
He expressed also his sadness for those killed in a burning building that was set on fire during clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups in the city of Odessa.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter reiterated that the situation in eastern and southern Ukraine was dire saying that “joint efforts to stop this escalation and to find a way back to dialogue have to be undertaken.”
The EU also welcomed the release of the seven unarmed military observers as well as the release of the Ukrainian military personnel accompanying them.
“This should now be followed by the release of all other hostages held by illegally armed groups in east Ukraine,” a statement from the EU's external action service said, echoing the call from U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague who also earlier in the day said he deplored "the senseless loss of life in Odessa and call on all parties to work to restore calm and law and order across the country."
Meanwhile Turkey's Foreign Ministry offered it's condolences to the victim's families and wished a fast recovery for those injured in the building fire in Odessa.
"We reiterate our call to the clashing parties to avoid violent actions and make themselves heard in a more peaceful and democratic way," the statement added.
Forty-six people have now died in a building that was set on fire during clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups in southern port of Odessa.
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