OSCE military observers not allowed into Crimea

OSCE military observers not allowed into Crimea

PanARMENIAN.Net - Dozens of military observers invited by Ukraine to monitor the situation in Crimea had to turn back on Thursday, March 6, after failing to get past roadblocks, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said, according to Reuters.

The mission of 43 unarmed observers from 23 OSCE countries was now heading back to the Ukrainian town of Kherson, halfway between Odessa and the Crimean peninsula, to decide how to proceed, the Vienna-based security organization and democracy watchdog said.

"They tried two checkpoints, they didn't get through ... Nobody attacked them, they were just not allowed to go through," an OSCE spokeswoman said.

The mission had aimed to defuse a tense military standoff. Forces loyal to Moscow bloodlessly seized Crimea after Russian ally Viktor Yanukovich was ousted as Ukrainian president last month, and are surrounding military compounds of the Ukrainian army and navy.

Earlier, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak had said unidentified men in military fatigues had prevented the group from entering Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula after travelling from Odessa by car. One senior Western diplomat criticized the obstacles.

"It's not surprising but it is obviously unacceptable and it's unfortunate given the mission they were sent out to do," he said.

Related links:
 Top stories
Tsarnaev is likely to be moved to a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, to await execution, but there could be years of appeals.
The measures are also expected to introduce banning orders for extremist organizations who use hate speech in public places.
The U.S. State Department offered up to $7mln for information on Qaduli whom it described as a senior IS official.
So far 18 people have also been confirmed dead in an avalanche that swept through the Mount Everest base camp.
Partner news