UN chief demands release of OSCE military monitors, staff in Ukraine

Ukrainian flag flies outside UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

28 April 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the detention of international military monitors and staff in Ukraine, and demanded that they be released “immediately, unconditionally and unharmed.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban underlined that those who continue unlawful acts will be held accountable for their actions.

According to media reports, the team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and a number of accompanying Ukrainian staff were captured on Friday while traveling across the eastern part of the country.

“International missions working in Ukraine must be allowed to perform their duties unimpeded,” the top UN official stressed.

Mr. Ban appealed to those with influence to assist in the urgent resolution of this matter, and urged all parties concerned to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation.

“He also calls on them to find a way back to the spirit of compromise exhibited during the Geneva talks on 17 April,” the spokesperson said in reference to the initial round of diplomatic negotiations on the crisis held earlier this month with the backing of the United States and the European Union.

“A diplomatic and political solution to this crisis is imperative and long overdue,” he added.


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