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Estonian OSCE observer kidnapped near Donetsk, negotiations underway

May 28, 2014
From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonian OSCE observer kidnapped near Donetsk, negotiations underway
Baltic Course

Monday evening (May 26), four observers from the OSCE special mission working in Ukraine were abducted near Donetsk, including one Estonian male citizen, reports Estonian Public Broadcasting.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry said that the OSCE is working on a solution. Negotiations are under way with kidnappers of OSCE observers, Estonian Ambassador Tiit Matsulevitš, who is on a special mission in Odessa at the moment, told Public Broadcasting Wednesday evening.

Besides the Estonian, the group included citizens of Turkey, Switzerland and Denmark.

Matsulevitš said that by now, it is known that the kidnappers have taken the OSCE observers to Lugansk and that the OECD Lugansk team has been able to contact the kidnappers or their representatives. Matsulevitš said that negotiations are under way but nothing more specific was known on Wednesday.

OSCE leadership is not issuing much information about the case because it could hinder the negotiation process, or pose a threat to the people, said Matsuleviš.

"The situation is being monitored by Estonian diplomats at the representation to the OSCE, in the embassy in Kiev and the Foreign Ministry who are in constant contact with OSCE representatives," the ministry said in a press release.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the OSCE observers have to be released immediately and their work cannot be obstructed.

The observers were on their ordinary patrol round in the eastern part of Donetsk. The OSCE is doing all it can to find them, using its contacts on location, it says.

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